Porous liquid phases for indented colloids with depletion interactions

Nigel Wilding, Robert Jack, Douglas Ashton

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


We study indented spherical colloids, interacting via depletion forces. These systems exhibit liquidvapor phase transitions whose properties are determined by a combination of strong “lock-and-key” bonds
and weaker nonspecific interactions. As the propensity for lock-and-key binding increases, the critical point
moves to significantly lower density, and the coexisting phases change their structure. In particular, the
liquid phase is porous, exhibiting large percolating voids. The properties of this system depend strongly on
the topological structure of an underlying bond network: we comment on the implications of this fact for
the assembly of equilibrium states with controlled porous structures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number237801
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2015

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