Sticky-sphere clusters

Miranda Holmes-Cerfon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Nano- and microscale particles, such as colloids, commonly interact over ranges much shorter than their diameters, so it is natural to treat them as "sticky," interacting only when they touch exactly. The lowest-energy states, free energies, and dynamics of a collection of n particles can be calculated in the sticky limit of a deep, narrow interaction potential. This article surveys the theory of the sticky limit, explains the correspondence between theory and experiments on colloidal clusters, and outlines areas where the sticky limit may bring new insight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-98
Number of pages22
JournalAnnual Review of Condensed Matter Physics
StatePublished - Mar 31 2017


  • Colloid
  • Emergence
  • Free energy
  • Self-assembly
  • Sphere packing
  • Transition rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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