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Issue 22, 2013
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Energy landscapes, structural topologies and rearrangement mechanisms in clusters of dipolar particles

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Abstract

Clusters of spherical particles with isotropic attraction favour compact structures that maximise the number of energetically optimal nearest-neighbour interactions. In contrast, dipolar interactions lead to the formation of chains with a low coordination number. When both isotropic and dipolar interactions are present, the competition between them can lead to intricate knot, link and coil structures. Here, we investigate how these structures may self-organise and interconvert in clusters bound by the Stockmayer potential (Lennard-Jones plus point dipole). We map out the low-lying region of the energy landscape using disconnectivity graphs to follow how it evolves as the strength of the dipolar interactions increases. From comprehensive surveys of isomerisation pathways, we identify a number of rearrangement mechanisms that allow the topology of chain-like structures to interconvert.

Graphical abstract: Energy landscapes, structural topologies and rearrangement mechanisms in clusters of dipolar particles

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Mar 2013, accepted on 29 Apr 2013 and first published on 08 May 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50711D
Citation: Soft Matter, 2013,9, 5407-5416
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Energy landscapes, structural topologies and rearrangement mechanisms in clusters of dipolar particles

    J. D. Farrell, C. Lines, J. J. Shepherd, D. Chakrabarti, M. A. Miller and D. J. Wales, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 5407
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50711D

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