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Issue 27, 2019
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Phase behavior and design rules for plastic colloidal crystals of hard polyhedra via consideration of directional entropic forces

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Abstract

Plastic crystals – like liquid crystals – are mesophases that can exist between liquids and crystals and possess some of the characteristic traits of each of these states of matter. Plastic crystals exhibit translational order but orientational disorder. Here, we characterize the phase behavior in systems of hard polyhedra that self-assemble plastic face-centered cubic (pFCC) colloidal crystals. We report a first-order transition from a pFCC to a body-centered tetragonal (BCT) crystal, a smooth crossover from pFCC to an orientationally-ordered FCC crystal, and an apparent orientational glass transition wherein long-range order fails to develop from a plastic crystal upon an increase in density. Using global order parameters and local environment descriptors, we describe how particle shape influences the development of orientational order with increasing density, and we provide design rules based on the arrangement of facets for engineering plastic crystal behavior in colloidal systems.

Graphical abstract: Phase behavior and design rules for plastic colloidal crystals of hard polyhedra via consideration of directional entropic forces

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Dec 2018, accepted on 21 May 2019 and first published on 23 May 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM02643B
Soft Matter, 2019,15, 5380-5389

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    Phase behavior and design rules for plastic colloidal crystals of hard polyhedra via consideration of directional entropic forces

    A. S. Karas, J. Dshemuchadse, G. van Anders and S. C. Glotzer, Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 5380
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM02643B

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