Defects in colloidal crystals of hard particles
Fluids and Materials Seminar
19th November 2018, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Over the last few years increased control over particle synthesis has led to an amazing array of new colloidal building blocks. These building blocks, which are typically on the nano-to-micrometer scale, can self-assemble into structured arrangements, leading to astoundingly rich phase behaviour, i.e. liquid crystals, plastic crystals, quasicrystals, columnar phases and many more.
In this talk I will examine how this beautiful array of colloidal building blocks provides several novel routes to colloidal crystals where defects play an important role in their equilibrium phase behaviour. Specifically, I will describe the results of computer simulations and free-energy calculations that examine how anti-site defects affect the phase diagram of a binary hard-sphere mixture, and I will explore point defects in systems of repulsive particles that form simple cubic lattices, such as colloidal hard cubes where the vacancy concentration can reach 6%!