Convectively assembled monolayers of colloidal cubes: evidence of optimal packings

Janne Mieke Meijer (Corresponding author), Vera Meester, Fabian Hagemans, H.N.W. Lekkerkerker, Albert P. Philipse, Andrei V. Petukhov

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We employ a system of cubic colloids with rounded corners to study the close-packed monolayers that form via convective assembly. We show that by controlled solvent evaporation large densely packed monolayers of colloidal cubes are obtained. Using scanning electron microscopy and particle-tracking algorithms, we investigate the local order in detail and show that the obtained monolayers possess their predicted close-packed optimal packings, the Λ 0-lattice and the Λ 1-lattice, as well as the simple square-lattice and disordered packings. We further show that shape details of the cube corners are important for the final packing symmetry, where the frequency of the Λ 1-lattice increases with decreasing roundness of the corners, whereas the frequency of the Λ 0-lattice is unaffected. The formation of both optimal packings is found to be a consequence of the out-of-equilibrium formation process, which leads to small shifts in rows of cubes, thereby transforming the Λ 1-lattice into the Λ 0-lattice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4946-4955
Number of pages10
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2019


Cite this

Meijer, J. M., Meester, V., Hagemans, F., Lekkerkerker, H. N. W., Philipse, A. P., & Petukhov, A. V. (2019). Convectively assembled monolayers of colloidal cubes: evidence of optimal packings. Langmuir, 35(14), 4946-4955.