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Correlation between dynamical and structural heterogeneities in colloidal hard-sphere suspensions

Nature Physics volume 12, pages 712717 (2016) | Download Citation

Abstract

Dynamical and structural heterogeneities have long been thought to play a key role in a unified picture of solidification in view of the two competitive processes of crystallization and vitrification. Here, we study these heterogeneities by means of a combination of dynamic and static light-scattering techniques applied to the simplest model system exhibiting crystallization and vitrification: the colloidal hard-sphere system. Our method enables us to quantify and correlate the temporal evolution of the amount of ordered clusters (precursors) and the amount of slow particles. Our analysis shows that their temporal evolutions are closely related and that there is an intimate link between structural and dynamic heterogeneities, crystal nucleation and the non-crystallization transition.

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Acknowledgements

We are pleased to thank G. Bryant and M. Franke for helpful discussions and E. Bartsch for the particle synthesis. We gratefully acknowledge financial support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (Pa459/13, Pa459/16, and SCHO 1054/3-3). S.G. is a recipient of a fellowship through the Excellence Initiative (DFG/GSC 266).

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Affiliations

  1. Graduate School Materials Science in Mainz, Staudingerweg 9, 55128 Mainz, Germany

    • Sebastian Golde
  2. Institut für Physik, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Staudingerweg 7, 55128 Mainz, Germany

    • Sebastian Golde
    • , Thomas Palberg
    •  & Hans Joachim Schöpe
  3. Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 10, 72026 Tübingen, Germany

    • Hans Joachim Schöpe

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Contributions

H.J.S. designed the research and set-up. S.G. and H.J.S. realized the set-up. S.G. performed the research. S.G. and H.J.S. analysed data. S.G., T.P. and H.J.S. contributed to writing this paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hans Joachim Schöpe.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nphys3709

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