Structure and fragmentation in colloidal artificial molecules and nuclei
Theoretical Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, 87545, USA
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Published online: 16 February 2007
Motivated by recent experiments on colloidal systems with competing attractive and repulsive interactions, we simulate a two-dimensional system of colloids with competing interactions that can undergo fragmentation. In the absence of any other confining potential, the colloids can form stable clusters depending on the strength of the short range attractive term. By suddenly changing the strength of one of the interaction terms we find a rich variety of fragmentation behavior which is affected by the existence of “magic” cluster numbers. Such soft matter systems can be used to construct artificial nuclei.
PACS: 82.70.Dd Colloids – / 45.70.Qj Pattern formation – / 05.70.Ln Nonequilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics –
© EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/Springer-Verlag, 2007