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The stability of a crystal with diamond structure for patchy particles with tetrahedral symmetry

AutorNoya, Eva G. ; Vega, C. ; Doye, Jonathan P. K.; Louis, Ard A.
Palabras clavecomputer simulation
simple models
phase diagram
Fecha de publicación21-jun-2010
EditorAmerican Institute of Physics
CitaciónJournal of Chemical Physics
ResumenThe phase diagram of model anisotropic particles with four attractive patches in a tetrahedral arrangement has been computed at two different values of the range of the potential, with the aim of investigating the conditions under which a diamond crystal can be formed. We find that the diamond phase is never stable for our longer-ranged potential. At low temperatures and pressures, the fluid freezes into a body-centered-cubic solid that can be viewed as two interpenetrating diamond lattices with a weak interaction between the two sublattices. Upon compression, an orientationally ordered face-centered-cubic crystal becomes more stable than the body-centered-cubic crystal, and at higher temperatures, a plastic face-centered-cubic phase is stabilized by the increased entropy due to orientational disorder. A similar phase diagram is found for the shorter-ranged potential, but at low temperatures and pressures, we also find a region over which the diamond phase is thermodynamically favored over the body-centered-cubic phase. The higher vibrational entropy of the diamond structure with respect to the body-centered-cubic solid explains why it is stable even though the enthalpy of the latter phase is lower. Some preliminary studies on the growth of the diamond structure starting from a crystal seed were performed. Even though the diamond phase is never thermodynamically stable for the longer-ranged model, direct coexistence simulations of the interface between the fluid and the body-centered-cubic crystal and between the fluid and the diamond crystal show that at sufficiently low pressures, it is quite probable that in both cases the solid grows into a diamond crystal, albeit involving some defects. These results highlight the importance of kinetic effects in the formation of diamond crystals in systems of patchy particles.
Versión del editor10.1063/1.3454907
ISSN1089-7690 (online)
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