Volume 83, Number 5, September 2008
Article Number 58004
Number of page(s) 6
Section Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology
Published online 26 August 2008
EPL, 83 (2008) 58004
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/83/58004

Soliton staircases and standing strain waves in confined colloidal crystals

Y.-H. Chui1, S. Sengupta2 and K. Binder1

1  Institute of Physics, Johannes-Gutenberg University - Staudinger Weg 7, D-55099 Mainz, Germany
2  S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Block JD, Sector III - Salt Lake, Kolkata 70098, India

received 4 June 2008; accepted in final form 16 July 2008; published September 2008
published online 26 August 2008

We show by computer simulation of a two-dimensional crystal confined by corrugated walls that confinement can be used to impose a controllable mesoscopic superstructure of predominantly mechanical elastic character. Due to an interplay of the particle density of the system and the width D of the confining channel, "soliton staircases" can be created along both parallel confining boundaries, that give rise to standing strain waves in the entire crystal. The periodicity of these waves is of the same order as D. This mechanism should be useful for structure formation in the self-assembly of various nanoscopic materials.

82.70.Dd - Colloids.
05.10.Ln - Monte Carlo methods.
68.55.-a - Thin film structure and morphology.

© EPLA 2008