Department of Physics Papers

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We investigate correlations between low-frequency vibrational modes and rearrangements in two-dimensional colloidal glasses composed of thermosensitive microgel particles, which readily permit variation of the sample packing fraction. At each packing fraction, the particle displacement covariance matrix is measured and used to extract the vibrational spectrum of the "shadow" colloidal glass (i.e., the particle network with the same geometry and interactions as the sample colloid but absent damping). Rearrangements are induced by successive, small reductions in the packing fraction. The experimental results suggest that low-frequency quasilocalized phonon modes in colloidal glasses, i.e., modes that present low energy barriers for system rearrangements, are spatially correlated with rearrangements in this thermal system.


Suggested Citation:
Chen, K., Manning, M. L., Yunker, P. J., Ellenbroek, W. G., Zhang, Z., Liu, A. J., & Yodh, A. G. (2011). Measurement of Correlations between Low-Frequency Vibrational Modes and Particle Rearrangements in Quasi-Two-Dimensional Colloidal Glasses. Physical Review Letters 107, 108301.

© 2011 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Physical Review Letters and may be found at

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Date Posted: 20 January 2012

This document has been peer reviewed.