Melting of colloidal crystal films

Y. Peng, Z. Wang, A. M. Alsayed, A. G. Yodh, Y. Han

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We study melting mechanisms in single and polycrystalline colloidal films composed of diameter-tunable microgel spheres with short-ranged repulsive interactions and confined between two glass walls. Thick films (>4 layers), thin-films (≤4 layers), and monolayers exhibit different melting behaviors. Thick films melt from grain boundaries in polycrystalline solid films and from film-wall interfaces in single-crystal films; a liquid-solid coexistence regime is observed in thick films but vanishes at a critical thickness of 4 layers. Thin solid films (2 to 4 layers) melt into the liquid phase in one step from both grain boundaries and from within crystalline domains. Monolayers melt in two steps with a middle hexatic phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number205703
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 18 2010

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    Peng, Y., Wang, Z., Alsayed, A. M., Yodh, A. G., & Han, Y. (2010). Melting of colloidal crystal films. Physical review letters, 104(20), [205703].