The freezing transition of flexible membranes
Institut für Festkörperforschung,
Forschungszentrum Jülich D-52425 Jülich,
2 Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Minnesota Supercomputer Institute University of Minnesota - 308 Harvard Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Accepted: 17 January 2002
The freezing transition of a network model for flexible tensionless membranes fluctuating about a planar reference state is investigated by Monte Carlo simulations and scaling arguments. The bond-orientational order parameter susceptibility is analyzed for three values of the bending rigidity κ, and it is found that for sufficiently large κ the low-temperature hexatic phase melts via a universal Kosterlitz-Thouless transition. These results are consistent with recent theoretical predictions that the crumpled-to-crinkled transition occurs via disclination melting for all bending rigidities and tether lengths. However, our simulations provide evidence that the transition becomes first order at very low bending rigidity.
PACS: 61.20.Ja – Computer simulation of liquid structure / 61.72.Bb – Theories and models of crystal defects / 87.16.Dg – Membranes, bilayers, and vesicles
© EDP Sciences, 2002