Frustration of the Isotropic-columnar phase transition of colloidal hard platelets by a transient Cubatic phase

Matthieu Marechal, Alessandro Patti, Matthew Dennison, Marjolein Dijkstra

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    Abstract

    Using simulations and theory, we show that the cubatic phase is metastable for three model hard platelets. The locally favored structures of perpendicular particle stacks in the fluid prevent the formation of the columnar phase through geometric frustration resulting in vitrification. Also, we find a direct link between structure and dynamic heterogeneities in the cooperative rotation of particle stacks, which is crucial for the devitrification process. Finally, we show that the lifetime of the glassy cubatic phase can be tuned by surprisingly small differences in particle shape. © 2012 American Physical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number206101
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Volume108
    Issue number20
    Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2012

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