Among the family of hard convex lens-shaped particles (lenses), the one with aspect ratio equal to 2/3 is "optimal" in the sense that the maximally random jammed (MRJ) packings of such lenses achieve the highest packing fraction φMRJ≃0.73 [G. Cinacchi and S. Torquato, Soft Matter 14, 8205 (2018)1744-683X10.1039/C8SM01519H]. This value is only a few percent lower than φDKP=0.76210â», the packing fraction of the corresponding densest-known crystalline (degenerate) packings [G. Cinacchi and S. Torquato, J. Chem. Phys. 143, 224506 (2015)JCPSA60021-960610.1063/1.4936938]. By exploiting the appreciably reduced propensity that a system of such optimal lenses has to positionally and orientationally order, disordered packings of them are progressively generated by a Monte Carlo method-based procedure from the dilute equilibrium isotropic fluid phase to the dense nonequilibrium MRJ state. This allows us to closely monitor how the (micro)structure of these packings changes in the process of formation of the MRJ state. The gradual changes undergone by the many structural descriptors calculated here can coherently and consistently be traced back to the gradual increase in contacts between the hard particles until the isostatic mean value of ten contact neighbors per lens is reached at the effectively hyperuniform MRJ state. Compared to the MRJ state of hard spheres, the MRJ state of such optimal lenses is denser (less porous), more disordered, and rattler-free. This set of characteristics makes them good glass formers. It is possible that this conclusion may also hold for other hard convex uniaxial particles with a correspondingly similar aspect ratio, be they oblate or prolate, and that, by using suitable biaxial variants of them, that set of characteristics might further improve.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics