Tuesday, July 9, 2013

1307.1977 (Tim Neuhaus et al.)

Compatibility waves drive crystal growth on patterned substrates    [PDF]

Tim Neuhaus, Michael Schmiedeberg, Hartmut Löwen
We explore the crystallization in a colloidal monolayer on a structured template starting from a few-particle nucleus. The competition between the substrate structure and that of the growing crystal induces a new crystal growth scenario. Unlike with the crystal growth in the bulk where a well-defined and connected crystal-fluid interface grows into the fluid, we identify a mechanism where a "compatibility wave" of the prescribed nucleus with the underlying substrate structure dictates the growth direction and efficiency. The growth process is strongly anisotropic and proceeds via transient island formation in front of an initial solid-fluid interface. We demonstrate the validity of this compatibility wave concept for a large class of substrate structures including a square-lattice and a quasicrystalline pattern. Dynamical density functional theory which provides a microscopic approach to the crystallization process is employed for colloidal hard spheres. Our predictions can be verified in experiments on confined colloids and also bear consequences for molecular crystal growth on structured substrates.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1307.1977

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