How to simulate patchy particles

Lorenzo Rovigatti, John Russo, Flavio Romano

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

16 Citations (Scopus)
160 Downloads (Pure)


Patchy particles is the name given to a large class of systems of mesoscopic particles characterized
by a repulsive core and a discrete number of short-range and highly directional interaction sites.
Numerical simulations have contributed significantly to our understanding of the behaviour of patchy particles, but, although simple in principle, advanced simulation techniques are often required to sample the low temperatures and long time scales associated with their self-assembly behaviour. In this work we review the most popular simulation techniques that have been used to study patchy particles, with a special focus on Monte Carlo methods. We cover many of the tools required to simulate patchy systems, from interaction potentials to biased moves, cluster moves, and free energy methods. The review is complemented by an educationally-oriented Monte Carlo computer code that implements all the techniques described in the text to simulate a well-known tetrahedral patchy particle model.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Physical Journal E
Issue number59
Early online date14 May 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 May 2018

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