Comparison of melting in three and two dimensions: Microscopy of colloidal spheres

C. A. Murray, W. O. Sprenger, R. A. Wenk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Scopus citations

Abstract

Digital imaging is used to study the instantaneous particle positions and trajectories of highly charged monodisperse 0.3- m-diam polystyrene spheres in water suspension. We find that a three-dimensional fcc crystal near a smooth glass wall melts abruptly into a layered fluid as a function of the in-plane sphere density parallel to the wall. In contrast, a single two-dimensional layer of the identical colloid confined between two smooth glass walls exhibits a gradual two-stage melting transition in which there are separate divergences of translational and orientational order.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-703
Number of pages16
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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