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Melting of Colloidal Crystal Films

Authors Peng, Yi
Wang, Ziren
Alsayed, Ahmed M.
Yodh, Arjun G.
Han, Yilong
Issue Date 2010
Source Physical Review Letters , v. 104, (20), May 2010
Summary 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.
ISSN 0031-9007
Rights © 2010 The American Physical Society
Language English
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