The role of fivefold symmetry in suppressing crystallization

Jade Taffs, C P Royall

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

36 Citations (Scopus)
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Although long assumed to play an important role in the suppression of crystallisation and the development of glassformers, the effect of local fivefold symmetry has never been directly tested. Here we consider whether such suppression of crystallisation has a kinetic or thermodynamic nature and investigate its mechanism. We introduce a model in which the degree of fivefold symmetry can be tuned by favouring arrangements of particles in pentagonal bipyramids. We thus show that fivefold symmetry has both kinetic and thermodynamic effects on the mechanism of crystallisation to an face-centred cubic crystal. Our results suggest that the mechanism of crystallisation suppression is related to the surface tension between fluid and crystal. Interestingly, the degree of fivefold symmetry has little effect on crystal growth rate, suggesting that growth may be only weakly coupled to fluid structure in hard sphere like systems. Upon increasing the fivefold symmetry, we find a first-order transition to an alternative icosahedra-rich phase At intermediate bias strengths we find a one-component glassformer.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13225
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2016

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