Phases of surface-confined trivalent colloidal particles

Piet J.M. Swinkels, Zhe Gong, Stefano Sacanna, Eva G. Noya, Peter Schall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patchy colloids promise the design and modelling of complex materials, but the realization of equilibrium patchy particle structures remains challenging. Here, we assemble pseudo-trivalent particles and elucidate their phase behaviour when confined to a plane. We observe the honeycomb phase, as well as more complex amorphous network and triangular phases. Structural analysis performed on the three condensed phases reveals their shared structural motifs. Using a combined experimental and simulation approach, we elucidate the energetics of these phases and construct the phase diagram of this system, using order parameters to determine the phase coexistence lines. Our results reveal the rich phase behaviour that a relatively simple patchy particle system can display, and open the door to a larger joined simulation and experimental exploration of the full patchy-particle phase space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSoft Matter
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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