Fractionalization of interstitials in curved colloidal crystals

William T M Irvine, Mark J. Bowick, Paul M. Chaikin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Understanding the effect of curvature and topological frustration in crystals yields insights into the fragility of the ordered state. For instance, a one-dimensional crystal of identical charged particles can accommodate an extra particle (interstitial) if all the particle positions are readjusted, yet in a planar hexagonal crystal interstitials remain trapped between lattice sites and diffuse by hopping. Using optical tweezers operated independently of three-dimensional imaging, we inserted interstitials in a lattice of similar colloidal particles sitting on flat or curved oil/glycerol interfaces, and imaged the ensuing dynamics. We find that, unlike in flat space, the curved crystals self-heal through a collective particle rearrangement that redistributes the increased density associated with the interstitial. This process can be interpreted in terms of the out-of-equilibrium interaction of topological defects with each other and with the underlying curvature. Our observations suggest the existence of particle fractionalization on curved surface crystals.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)948-951
    Number of pages4
    JournalNature Materials
    Volume11
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 2012

    Fingerprint

    interstitials
    Crystals
    crystals
    curvature
    Optical tweezers
    curved surfaces
    Charged particles
    frustration
    glycerols
    Glycerol
    Crystal lattices
    Oils
    charged particles
    oils
    Imaging techniques
    Defects
    defects
    interactions

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Mechanics of Materials
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Materials Science(all)
    • Chemistry(all)

    Cite this

    Irvine, W. T. M., Bowick, M. J., & Chaikin, P. M. (2012). Fractionalization of interstitials in curved colloidal crystals. Nature Materials, 11(11), 948-951. https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat3429

    Fractionalization of interstitials in curved colloidal crystals. / Irvine, William T M; Bowick, Mark J.; Chaikin, Paul M.

    In: Nature Materials, Vol. 11, No. 11, 11.2012, p. 948-951.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Irvine, WTM, Bowick, MJ & Chaikin, PM 2012, 'Fractionalization of interstitials in curved colloidal crystals', Nature Materials, vol. 11, no. 11, pp. 948-951. https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat3429
    Irvine, William T M ; Bowick, Mark J. ; Chaikin, Paul M. / Fractionalization of interstitials in curved colloidal crystals. In: Nature Materials. 2012 ; Vol. 11, No. 11. pp. 948-951.
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