Binary mixtures of charged colloids: a potential route to synthesize disordered hyperuniform materials
Disordered hyperuniform materials are a new, exotic class of amorphous matter that exhibits crystal-like behavior, in the sense that volume-fraction fluctuations are suppressed at large length scales, and yet they are isotropic and do not display diffraction Bragg peaks. These materials are endowed with novel photonic, phononic, transport and mechanical properties, which are useful for a wide range of applications. Motivated by the need to fabricate large samples of disordered hyperuniform systems at the nanoscale, we study the small-wavenumber behavior of the spectral density of binary mixtures of charged colloids in suspension. The interaction between the colloids is approximated by a repulsive hard-core Yukawa potential. We find that at dimensionless temperatures below 0.05 and dimensionless inverse screening lengths below 1.0, which are experimentally accessible, the disordered systems become effectively hyperuniform. Moreover, as the temperature and inverse screening length decrease, the level of hyperuniformity increases, as quantified by the “hyperuniformity index”. Our results suggest an alternative approach to synthesize large samples of effectively disordered hyperuniform materials at the nanoscale under standard laboratory conditions. In contrast with the usual route to synthesize disordered hyperuniform materials by jamming particles, this approach is free from the burden of applying high pressure to compress the systems.