Structure-dynamics relationship in ratcheted colloids: Resonance melting, dislocations, and defect clusters
We consider a two dimensional colloidal dispersion of soft-core particles driven by a one dimensional stochastic flashing ratchet that induces a time averaged directed particle current through the system. It undergoes a non-equilibrium melting transition as the directed current approaches a maximum associated with a resonance of the ratcheting frequency with the relaxation frequency of the system. We use extensive molecular dynamics simulations to present a detailed phase diagram in the ratcheting rate- mean density plane. With the help of numerically calculated structure factor, solid and hexatic order parameters, and pair correlation functions, we show that the non-equilibrium melting is a continuous transition from a quasi-long ranged ordered solid to a hexatic phase. The transition is mediated by the unbinding of dislocations, and formation of compact and string-like defect clusters.