In order to better control the assembly of nanorods, knowledge of the pathways by which they form ordered structures is desirable. In this paper, we characterize crystal nucleation in suspensions of spherocylindrical rods with aspect ratio L/D = 2.3 in the presence of both small and large polymer depletants. Using a combination of Langevin dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations, together with biased sampling techniques, we show that the preferred pathway always involves the formation of monolayer assemblies irrespective of the volume fraction of the initial isotropic phase and the diameter of the depletants. This includes the previously neglected case of nucleation from the colloidal liquid phase and shows that the presence of depletion attraction can alter nucleation pathways even when the initial phase is dense.
Crystal nucleation in colloidal rod suspensions: The effect of depletant size
Note: This paper is part of the JCP Special Topic on Depletion Forces and Asakura–Oosawa Theory.
Jared A. Wood, Yawei Liu, Asaph Widmer-Cooper; Crystal nucleation in colloidal rod suspensions: The effect of depletant size. J. Chem. Phys. 28 June 2021; 154 (24): 244505. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0052623
Download citation file: