Zdjęcie: Droplet clusters: exploring the phase space of soft mesoscale atoms

Droplet clusters: exploring the phase space of soft mesoscale atoms

We report three-dimensional structures—mesoscale “atoms”—comprising up to N=8 aqueous droplets compressed in a liquid shell. In contrast to hard colloids that self-assemble into structures unique for a given N, we observe multiple metastable states. We attribute this unexpected richness of metastable structures to the deformability of the cores that introduces irreducible many-body interactions between the droplets. These exotic, often highly anisotropic, structures are locally stable. The structures displaying highly nonoptimum packing—and hence interfacial energy much higher than that of the lowest-energy state—exhibit finite energy barriers that prevent restructuring and relaxation of energy.

  • Autor: J. Guzowski, P. Garstecki
  • Rok: 2015
  • Źródło: Physical Review Letters, 114, 188302
  • Plik: pobierz

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