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Issue 22, 2013
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Substitutional impurity-induced vitrification in microgel crystals

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Abstract

We study the effect of larger substitutional impurities on the structure of soft microgel crystals. At the size ratio we employ, rsmall/rlarge = 0.67, we observe the unexpected co-crystallisation of the large impurities with the base crystal, at low fractions of impurity particles. A single impurity takes the place of 4 tetrahedrally coordinated small particles within the lattice. However, as this is accompanied by local deformations of the particles, this distortion-minimizing structure transforms into a random surrounding of the impurity particle at higher fractions of large substitutional impurities. The distortions in the lattice become longer ranged through this transformation, and ultimately result in vitrification of the sample.

Graphical abstract: Substitutional impurity-induced vitrification in microgel crystals

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Article information


Submitted
14 Feb 2013
Accepted
26 Mar 2013
First published
18 Apr 2013

Soft Matter, 2013,9, 5372-5379
Article type
Paper

Substitutional impurity-induced vitrification in microgel crystals

R. Higler, J. Appel and J. Sprakel, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 5372
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50471A

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