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Published in:PHYSICAL REVIEW E 75, 020402R 2007

Simple monoclinic crystal phase in suspensions of hard ellipsoids

P. Pfleiderer and T. Schilling

Institut für Physik, Johannes Gutenberg-Universitt, Staudinger Weg 7, D-55099 Mainz, Germany

Received 6 December 2006; revised manuscript received 12 January 2007; published 9 February 2007

We present a computer simulation study on the crystalline phases of hard ellipsoids of revolution. For aspect ratios larger than or equal to 3 the previously suggested stretched-fcc phase [Frenkel and Mulder, Mol. Phys. 55, 1171 (1985)] is replaced by a different crystalline phase. Its unit cell contains two ellipsoids with unequal orientations. The lattice is simple monoclinic. The angle of inclination of the lattice, beta, is a very soft degree of freedom, while the two right angles are stiff. For one particular value of beta, the close-packed version of this crystal is a specimen of the family of superdense packings recently reported [Donev et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 255506 (2004)]. These results are relevant for studies of nucleation and glassy dynamics of colloidal suspensions of ellipsoids.

We are grateful to the NIC Jülich for computing time, and to K. Binder, D. Frenkel, M. P. Allen, J. Vermant, A. Donev, and W. A. Siebel for helpful suggestions.

Patrick Pfleiderer: “Crystal Phases and Glassy Dynamics in Monodisperse Hard Ellipsoids” (Mainz, Diss. 5.11.2008, Rig. 9.2.2009)

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