Self-assembly of a binary monolayer of charged particles is modeled using molecular dynamics and statistical mechanics. The equilibrium phase diagram for the system has three distinct phases: an ionic crystal; a geometrically ordered crystal with disordered charges; and a fluid. We show that self-assembly occurs near the phase transition between the ionic crystal and the fluid, and that the rate of ordering is sensitive to the applied pressure. By assuming an Arrhenius form for the rate of ordering, an optimality condition for the temperature and pressure is derived that maximizes the rate. Using the Clausius-Clapeyron equation, the optimal point on the phase boundary is expressed in terms of the thermodynamic changes in state variables across the boundary. The predicted optimal temperature and pressure conditions are in good agreement with numerical simulations and result in self-organization rates five times that of a simulation without applied pressure.

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