Toward the observation of a liquid-liquid phase transition in patchy origami tetrahedra: a numerical study

Regular Article

Abstract.

We evaluate the phase diagram of a model of tetrameric particles where the arms of the tetrahedra are made by six hard cylinders. An interacting site is present on each one of the four vertices allowing the particles to form a bonded network. These model particles provide a coarse-grained but realistic representation of recently synthesised DNA origami tetrahedra. We show that the resulting network is sufficiently empty to allow for partial interpenetration and it is sufficiently flexible to avoid crystallisation (at least on the numerical time scale), satisfying both criteria requested for the observation of a liquid-liquid critical point in tetrahedrally coordinated particles. Grand-canonical simulations provide evidence that, in silico, the model is indeed characterised, in addition to the gas-liquid transition, by a transition between two distinct liquid phases. Our results suggest that an experimental observation of a liquid-liquid transition in a colloidal system can be achieved in the near future.

Graphical abstract

Keywords

Soft Matter: Colloids and Nanoparticles 

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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simone Ciarella
    • 1
  • Oleg Gang
    • 2
  • Francesco Sciortino
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di FisicaSapienza Università di RomaRomaItaly
  2. 2.Chemical Engineering DepartmentColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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