(379j) Engineering Phase Transitions of Colloidal Crystals By Inverse Design

Authors: 
Du, C. X., University of Michigan
van Anders, G., Queen's University
Dshemuchadse, J., University of Michigan
Dodd, P., University of Michigan
Glotzer, S. C., University of Michigan
Colloidal particles demonstrate a rich set of phase transitions through variation in temperature, pressure, solvent quality, and particle properties. Due to the large design space, it can be challenging to find appropriate building blocks for target behaviors, and sometimes, the mapped out phase diagram cannot guarantee a phase transition due to kinetic traps. Here, focusing on colloidal particles that can be modeled as convex hard particles, we use the inverse design method of Digital Alchemy to find optimal particle shapes for targeted phase behaviors, such as pressure induced solid—solid phase transitions. We present a theoretical design framework along with computer simulation results that give candidate particles for reconfigurable colloidal materials and feasibilities of certain phase transition pathways.