We measure the kinetics of crystal growth from a melt of triblock Janus colloids using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations. We assess the impact of interaction anisotropy by systematically varying the size of the attractive patches from 40% to 100% coverage, finding substantially different growth behaviors in the two limits. With isotropic particles, the interface velocity is directly proportional to the subcooling, in agreement with previous studies. With highly anisotropic particles, the growth curves are well approximated by using a power law with exponent and prefactor that depend strongly on the particular surface geometry and patch fraction. This nonlinear growth appears correlated to the roughness of the solid-liquid interface, with the strongest growth inhibition occurring for the smoothest crystal faces. We conclude that crystal growth for patchy particles does not conform to the typical collision-limited mechanism, but is instead an activated process in which the rate-limiting step is the collective rotation of particles into the proper orientation. Finally, we show how differences in the growth kinetics could be leveraged to achieve kinetic control over polymorph growth, either enhancing or suppressing metastable phases near solid-solid coexistence lines.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry