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Issue 37, 2016
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Crystallization kinetics of binary colloidal monolayers

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Experiments and simulations are used to study the kinetics of crystal growth in a mixture of magnetic and nonmagnetic particles suspended in ferrofluid. The growth process is quantified using both a bond order parameter and a mean domain size parameter. The largest single crystals obtained in experiments consist of approximately 1000 particles and form if the area fraction is held between 65–70% and the field strength is kept in the range of 8.5–10.5 Oe. Simulations indicate that much larger single crystals containing as many as 5000 particles can be obtained under impurity-free conditions within a few hours. If our simulations are modified to include impurity concentrations as small as 1–2%, then the results agree quantitatively with the experiments. These findings provide an important step toward developing strategies for growing single crystals that are large enough to enable follow-on investigations across many subdisciplines in condensed matter physics.

Graphical abstract: Crystallization kinetics of binary colloidal monolayers

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Article information

08 May 2016
22 Jul 2016
First published
25 Jul 2016

Soft Matter, 2016,12, 7735-7746
Article type

Crystallization kinetics of binary colloidal monolayers

A. T. Pham, R. Seto, J. Schönke, D. Y. Joh, A. Chilkoti, E. Fried and B. B. Yellen, Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 7735
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM01072E

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