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Issue 5, 2012
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Phase diagram of two-dimensional systems of dipole-like colloids

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Based on Discontinuous Molecular Dynamics (DMD) simulations we present a phase diagram of two-dimensional nano-particles with dipole-like short-ranged interactions. Similar to systems with true, long-ranged dipolar interactions the present system undergoes a transition from an isotropic fluid phase into a polymer-like fluid, characterized by an association of most particles into clusters. Further decrease of the temperature leads to a percolated system which, moreover, displays dynamical properties reminiscent of a gel. Specifically, we find a plateau in the mean-squared displacement and a non-gaussian behavior of the self-part of the van Hove correlation function. In the high density region we observe crystallization from the isotropic fluid into a solid phase with hexagonal order. Surprisingly, the crystallization is accompanied by a global parallel ordering of the dipole moments, i.e., a ferroelectric phase. This behavior is in marked contrast to what is found in 2D systems with long-ranged dipolar interactions. Our results allow insights into the design of gel-like or highly ordered structures at interfaces, shells around droplets and bubbles and new-sheet like materials.

Graphical abstract: Phase diagram of two-dimensional systems of dipole-like colloids

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Aug 2011, accepted on 03 Nov 2011 and first published on 12 Dec 2011

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM06576A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2012,8, 1521-1531
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    Phase diagram of two-dimensional systems of dipole-like colloids

    H. Schmidle, C. K. Hall, O. D. Velev and S. H. L. Klapp, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 1521
    DOI: 10.1039/C1SM06576A

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