On the stability of a quasicrystal and its crystalline approximant in a system of hard disks with a soft corona

  • Pattabhiraman H
  • Gantapara A
  • Dijkstra M
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Abstract

Using computer simulations, we study the phase behavior of a model system of colloidal hard disks with a diameter σ and a soft corona of width 1.4σ. The particles interact with a hard core and a repulsive square-shoulder potential. We calculate the free energy of the random-tiling quasicrystal and its crystalline approximants using the Frenkel-Ladd method. We explicitly account for the configurational entropy associated with the number of distinct configurations of the random-tiling quasicrystal. We map out the phase diagram and find that the random tiling dodecagonal quasicrystal is stabilised by entropy at finite temperatures with respect to the crystalline approximants that we considered, and its stability region seems to extend to zero temperature as the energies of the defect-free quasicrystal and the crystalline approximants are equal within our statistical accuracy.

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