Regular Article - Soft Matter
Crystallisation and polymorph selection in active Brownian particles
Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials, University of Bristol, BS8 1FD, Bristol, UK
2 H.H. Wills Physics Laboratory, Tyndall Ave., BS8 1TL, Bristol, UK
3 Gulliver UMR CNRS 7083, ESPCI Paris, Université PSL, 75005, Paris, France
4 School of Chemistry, Cantock’s Close, University of Bristol, BS8 1TS, Bristol, UK
5 School of Mathematics, University of Bristol, BS8 1UG, Bristol, UK
6 Department of Physics, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185, Rome, Italy
Accepted: 20 July 2021
Published online: 28 September 2021
We explore crystallisation and polymorph selection in active Brownian particles with numerical simulation. In agreement with previous work (Wysocki et al. in Europhys Lett 105:48004, 2014), we find that crystallisation is suppressed by activity and occurs at higher densities with increasing Péclet number (). While the nucleation rate decreases with increasing activity, the crystal growth rate increases due to the accelerated dynamics in the melt. As a result of this competition, we observe the transition from a nucleation and growth regime at high to “spinodal nucleation” at low . Unlike the case of passive hard spheres, where preference for FCC over HCP polymorphs is weak, activity causes the annealing of HCP stacking faults, thus strongly favouring the FCC symmetry at high . When freezing occurs more slowly, in the nucleation and growth regime, this tendency is much reduced and we see a trend towards the passive case of little preference for either polymorph.
© The Author(s) 2021
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