Generic model for tunable colloidal aggregation in multidirectional fields
Based on Brownian Dynamics computer simulations in two dimensions we investigate aggregation scenarios of colloidal particles with directional interactions induced by multiple external fields. To this end we propose a model which allows continuous change in the particle interactions from point-dipole-like to patchy-like (with four patches). We show that, as a result of this change, the non-equilibrium aggregation occurring at low densities and temperatures transforms from conventional diffusion-limited cluster aggregation (DLCA) to slippery DLCA involving rotating bonds; this is accompanied by a pronounced change of the underlying lattice structure of the aggregates from square-like to hexagonal ordering. Increasing the temperature we find a transformation to a fluid phase, consistent with results of a simple mean-field density functional theory.