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Observation of solid-solid transitions in 3D crystals of colloidal superballs

Meijer, Janne Mieke LU ; Pal, Antara LU ; Ouhajji, Samia; Lekkerkerker, Henk N W; Philipse, Albert P. and Petukhov, Andrei V. (2017) In Nature Communications 8.
Abstract

Self-organization in anisotropic colloidal suspensions leads to a fascinating range of crystal and liquid crystal phases induced by shape alone. Simulations predict the phase behaviour of a plethora of shapes while experimental realization often lags behind. Here, we present the experimental phase behaviour of superball particles with a shape in between that of a sphere and a cube. In particular, we observe the formation of a plastic crystal phase with translational order and orientational disorder, and the subsequent transformation into rhombohedral crystals. Moreover, we uncover that the phase behaviour is richer than predicted, as we find two distinct rhombohedral crystals with different stacking variants, namely hollow-site and... (More)

Self-organization in anisotropic colloidal suspensions leads to a fascinating range of crystal and liquid crystal phases induced by shape alone. Simulations predict the phase behaviour of a plethora of shapes while experimental realization often lags behind. Here, we present the experimental phase behaviour of superball particles with a shape in between that of a sphere and a cube. In particular, we observe the formation of a plastic crystal phase with translational order and orientational disorder, and the subsequent transformation into rhombohedral crystals. Moreover, we uncover that the phase behaviour is richer than predicted, as we find two distinct rhombohedral crystals with different stacking variants, namely hollow-site and bridge-site stacking. In addition, for slightly softer interactions we observe a solid-solid transition between the two. Our investigation brings us one step closer to ultimately controlling the experimental self-assembly of superballs into functional materials, such as photonic crystals.

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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Nature Communications
volume
8
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • scopus:85012164941
ISSN
2041-1723
DOI
10.1038/ncomms14352
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
1897909d-f0ff-48e1-911c-7fae03bf6469
date added to LUP
2017-02-22 13:35:40
date last changed
2018-03-04 04:59:14
@article{1897909d-f0ff-48e1-911c-7fae03bf6469,
  abstract     = {<p>Self-organization in anisotropic colloidal suspensions leads to a fascinating range of crystal and liquid crystal phases induced by shape alone. Simulations predict the phase behaviour of a plethora of shapes while experimental realization often lags behind. Here, we present the experimental phase behaviour of superball particles with a shape in between that of a sphere and a cube. In particular, we observe the formation of a plastic crystal phase with translational order and orientational disorder, and the subsequent transformation into rhombohedral crystals. Moreover, we uncover that the phase behaviour is richer than predicted, as we find two distinct rhombohedral crystals with different stacking variants, namely hollow-site and bridge-site stacking. In addition, for slightly softer interactions we observe a solid-solid transition between the two. Our investigation brings us one step closer to ultimately controlling the experimental self-assembly of superballs into functional materials, such as photonic crystals.</p>},
  articleno    = {14352},
  author       = {Meijer, Janne Mieke and Pal, Antara and Ouhajji, Samia and Lekkerkerker, Henk N W and Philipse, Albert P. and Petukhov, Andrei V.},
  issn         = {2041-1723},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Nature Communications},
  title        = {Observation of solid-solid transitions in 3D crystals of colloidal superballs},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms14352},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2017},
}