Department of Physics Papers

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Journal Article

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We study melting mechanisms in single and polycrystalline colloidal films composed of diametertunable 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.


Suggested Citation:
Y. Peng, Z. Wang, A.M. Alsayed, A.G. Yodh and Y. Han. (2010). "Melting of Colloidal Crystal Films." Physical Review Letters 104, 205703.

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Date Posted: 08 November 2010

This document has been peer reviewed.