Cubic colloids, sedimented on a surface and immersed in a solution of depletant molecules, were modeled with a family of shapes which smoothly varies from squares to circles. Using Wang-Landau simulations with expanded ensembles, we observe the formation of rhombic lattices, square lattices, hexagonal lattices and a fluid phase. This systematic investigation includes locating transitions between all combinations of the three lattice structures upon changing the shape, and transitions between the fluid and crystal upon changing the depletant concentration. The rhombic lattice deforms smoothly between square-like and hexagonal-like angles, depending on both the shape and the depletant concentration. Our results on the effect of the deple- tant concentration, depletant size, and colloid shape to influence the stability of the fluid and the lattice structures may help guide experimental studies with recently synthesized cubic colloids.
Journal of Chemical Physics
self-assembly, colloids, computer simulation