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


abstractTheory 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.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 711859.