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Frustration of the isotropic-columnar phase transition of colloidal hard platelets by a transient cubatic phase

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Published Article
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DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.206101
arXiv ID: 1112.1209
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arXiv
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Abstract

Using simulations and theory, we show that the cubatic phase is metastable for three model hard platelets. The locally favored structures of perpendicular particle stacks in the fluid prevent the formation of the columnar phase through geometric frustration resulting in vitrification. Also, we find a direct link between structure and dynamic heterogeneities in the cooperative rotation of particle stacks, which is crucial for the devitrification process. Finally, we show that the life time of the glassy cubatic phase can be tuned by surprisingly small differences in particle shape.

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