Formation and internal ordering of periodic microphases in colloidal models with competing interactions.
Serna, H., Pozuelo, A. D., Noya, E. G., & Góźdź, W. T.
Soft Matter 2021
Theory and simulations predict that colloidal particles with short-range attractive and long-rangerepulsive interactions form periodic microphases if there is a proper balance between the attractive andrepulsive contributions. However, the experimental identification of such structures has remained elusiveto date. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we investigate the phase behaviour of a model systemthat stabilizes a cluster-crystal, a cylindrical and a lamellar phase at low temperatures. Besides thetransition from the fluid to the periodic microphases, we also observe the internal freezing of theclusters at a lower temperature. Finally, our study indicates that, for the chosen model parameters, thethree periodic microphases are kinetically accessible from the fluid phase.