Local crystalline order in a 2D colloidal glass former
Fachbereich für Physik, Universität Konstanz, D-78457, Konstanz, Germany
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Accepted: 16 January 2008
Published online: 11 March 2008
A mixture of two types of super-paramagnetic colloidal particles with long-range dipolar interaction is confined by gravity to a flat interface of a hanging water droplet. The particles are observed by video microscopy and the dipolar interaction strength is controlled by an external magnetic field. The local structure as obtained by pair correlation functions and bond order statistics is investigated as a function of system temperature and relative concentration. Although the system has no long-range order and exhibits glassy dynamics, different types of stable crystallites coexist. The local order of the globally disordered structure is explained by a small set of specific crystal structures. The statistics of crystal unit cells show a continuous increase of local order with decreasing system temperature as well as a dependence on sample history and local composition.
PACS: 82.70.Dd Colloids – / 64.70.P- Glass transitions of specific systems –
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag, 2008