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Issue 4, 2012
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Energy landscapes of colloidal clusters: thermodynamics and rearrangement mechanisms

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Abstract

New experiments involving direct observation of colloidal clusters by optical microscopy promise to deliver a wealth of new information about such systems. Calculations suggest that some of the observable properties may be predicted using a simple pairwise potential to represent the interparticle forces, but in a range of parameter space that is distinctly different from previous representations of atomic clusters. The present contribution provides some benchmark calculations and predictions of structure, thermodynamics and rearrangement mechanisms for colloidal clusters containing up to 80 particles. The results suggest that distinct features characteristic of short-ranged interactions should be observable in terms of the structure, thermodynamics and dynamical properties. Analysis of a kinetic transition network for the 19-particle cluster reveals super-Arrhenius behaviour in the dynamics, analogous to a ‘fragile’ glass-former.

Graphical abstract: Energy landscapes of colloidal clusters: thermodynamics and rearrangement mechanisms

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 Jun 2011, accepted on 25 Aug 2011 and first published on 06 Oct 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1NR10679A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2012,4, 1085-1100
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    Energy landscapes of colloidal clusters: thermodynamics and rearrangement mechanisms

    F. Calvo, J. P. K. Doye and D. J. Wales, Nanoscale, 2012, 4, 1085
    DOI: 10.1039/C1NR10679A

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