All liquids (except helium owing to quantum effects) crystallize at low temperatures, forming ordered structures. The competition between disorder, which stabilizes the liquid phase, and energy, which leads to a preference for the crystalline structure, inevitably favours the crystal when the temperature is lowered and entropy becomes progressively less relevant. The liquid state survives at low temperatures only as a glass, an out-of-equilibrium arrested state of matter. This textbook description holds inevitably for atomic and molecular systems, where particle interactions are set by quantum-mechanical laws. The question remains whether it holds for colloidal particles, where interparticle interactions are usually short-ranged and tunable. Here we show that for patchy colloids with limited valence(1), conditions can be found for which the liquid phase is stable even in the zero-temperature limit. Our results offer fresh cues for understanding the stability of gels(2) and the glass-forming ability of molecular network glasses(3,4).

Liquids more stable than crystals in particles with limited valence and flexible bonds / Smallenburg, Frank; Sciortino, Francesco. - In: NATURE PHYSICS. - ISSN 1745-2473. - 9:9(2013), pp. 554-558. [10.1038/nphys2693]

Liquids more stable than crystals in particles with limited valence and flexible bonds

SMALLENBURG, FRANK;SCIORTINO, Francesco
2013

Abstract

All liquids (except helium owing to quantum effects) crystallize at low temperatures, forming ordered structures. The competition between disorder, which stabilizes the liquid phase, and energy, which leads to a preference for the crystalline structure, inevitably favours the crystal when the temperature is lowered and entropy becomes progressively less relevant. The liquid state survives at low temperatures only as a glass, an out-of-equilibrium arrested state of matter. This textbook description holds inevitably for atomic and molecular systems, where particle interactions are set by quantum-mechanical laws. The question remains whether it holds for colloidal particles, where interparticle interactions are usually short-ranged and tunable. Here we show that for patchy colloids with limited valence(1), conditions can be found for which the liquid phase is stable even in the zero-temperature limit. Our results offer fresh cues for understanding the stability of gels(2) and the glass-forming ability of molecular network glasses(3,4).
File allegati a questo prodotto
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11573/557048
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 139
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 133
social impact