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Issue 34, 2013
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Pathways to faceting of vesicles

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The interplay between geometry, topology and order can lead to geometric frustration that profoundly affects the shape and structure of a curved surface. In this commentary we show how frustration in this context can result in the faceting of elastic vesicles. We show that, under the right conditions, an assortment of regular and irregular polyhedral structures may be the low energy states of elastic membranes with spherical topology. In particular, we show how topological defects, necessarily present in any crystalline lattice confined to spherical topology, naturally lead to the formation of icosahedra in a homogeneous elastic vesicle. Furthermore, we show that introducing heterogeneities in the elastic properties, or allowing for non-linear bending response of a homogeneous system, opens non-trivial pathways to the formation of faceted, yet non-icosahedral, structures.

Graphical abstract: Pathways to faceting of vesicles

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Article information

24 Jun 2013
10 Jul 2013
First published
19 Jul 2013

Soft Matter, 2013,9, 8088-8095
Article type

Pathways to faceting of vesicles

M. J. Bowick and R. Sknepnek, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 8088
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM51729B

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