Hard convex lens-shaped particles: Densest-known packings and phase behavior

Giorgio Cinacchi, Salvatore Torquato

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18 Scopus citations


By using theoretical methods and Monte Carlo simulations, this work investigates dense ordered packings and equilibrium phase behavior (from the low-density isotropic fluid regime to the high-density crystalline solid regime) of monodisperse systems of hard convex lens-shaped particles as defined by the volume common to two intersecting congruent spheres. We show that, while the overall similarity of their shape to that of hard oblate ellipsoids is reflected in a qualitatively similar phase diagram, differences are more pronounced in the high-density crystal phase up to the densest-known packings determined here. In contrast to those non-(Bravais)-lattice two-particle basis crystals that are the densest-known packings of hard (oblate) ellipsoids, hard convex lens-shaped particles pack more densely in two types of degenerate crystalline structures: (i) non-(Bravais)-lattice two-particle basis body-centered-orthorhombic-like crystals and (ii) (Bravais) lattice monoclinic crystals. By stacking at will, regularly or irregularly, laminae of these two crystals, infinitely degenerate, generally non-periodic in the stacking direction, dense packings can be constructed that are consistent with recent organizing principles. While deferring the assessment of which of these dense ordered structures is thermodynamically stable in the high-density crystalline solid regime, the degeneracy of their densest-known packings strongly suggests that colloidal convex lens-shaped particles could be better glass formers than colloidal spheres because of the additional rotational degrees of freedom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number224506
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number22
StatePublished - Dec 14 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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