Controlling morphology in hybrid isotropic/patchy particle assemblies

Srinivas Mushnoori, Jack A. Logan, Alexei V. Tkachenko, Meenakshi Dutt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Brownian dynamics is used to study self-assembly in a hybrid system of isotropic particles (IPs), combined with anisotropic building blocks that represent special "designer particles."Those are modeled as spherical patchy particles (PPs) with binding only allowed between their patches and IPs. In this study, two types of PPs are considered: Octahedral PPs (Oh-PPs) and Square PPs (Sq-PPs), with octahedral and square arrangements of patches, respectively. The self-assembly is additionally facilitated by the simulated annealing procedure. The resultant structures are characterized by a combination of local correlations in cubatic ordering and a symmetry-specific variation of bond orientation order parameters (SymBOPs). By varying the PP/IP size ratio, we detected a sharp crossover between two distinct morphologies in both types of systems. High symmetry phases, NaCl crystal for Oh-PP and square lattice for Sq-PP, are observed for larger size ratios. For the smaller ones, the dominant morphologies are significantly different, e.g., Oh-PPs form a compact amorphous structure with predominantly face-to-face orientation of neighboring PPs. Unusually, for a morphology without a long-range order, it is still possible to identify well organized coherent clusters of this structure, thanks to the adoption of our SymBOP-based characterization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024501
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 14 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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