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Issue 38, 2013
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Light-induced phase transitions of colloidal monolayers with crystalline order

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Abstract

We experimentally study the phase behavior of a charge-stabilized two-dimensional colloidal crystal which is subjected to a one-dimensional periodic light field. Such light fields are created by a scanned optical line tweezer which allows the variation of the periodicity without optical realignments. In order to realize a wide range of line spacings relative to the lattice constant, we use a suspension of silica particles in bromobenzene. This colloidal system has a Debye screening length of about 4.6 μm which results in the formation of crystals with lattice constants up to 20 μm. Because the refractive index of bromobenzene is larger than that of the colloids, optical gradient forces lead to the attraction of particles at regions where the intensity is smallest. Depending on the depth and periodicity of the optical potential, we observe the light-induced assembly of colloids into triangular, rhombic and square phases.

Graphical abstract: Light-induced phase transitions of colloidal monolayers with crystalline order

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Apr 2013, accepted on 27 Aug 2013 and first published on 28 Aug 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50945A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2013,9, 9230-9236

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    Light-induced phase transitions of colloidal monolayers with crystalline order

    L. Zaidouny, T. Bohlein, R. Roth and C. Bechinger, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 9230
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50945A

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