Crystalline phases of polydisperse spheres

Peter Sollich*, Nigel B. Wilding

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


We use specialized Monte Carlo simulation methods and moment free energy calculations to provide conclusive evidence that dense polydisperse spheres at equilibrium demix into coexisting fcc phases, with more phases appearing as the spread of diameters increases. We manage to track up to four coexisting phases. Each of these is fractionated: it contains a narrower distribution of particle sizes than is present in the system overall. We also demonstrate that, surprisingly, demixing transitions can be nearly continuous, accompanied by fluctuations in local particle size correlated over many lattice spacings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118302
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2010


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