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Volume 84, Number 1, October 2008
Article Number 16003
Number of page(s) 5
Section Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties
Published online 18 September 2008
EPL, 84 (2008) 16003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/84/16003

Glassy dynamics in monodisperse hard ellipsoids

P. Pfleiderer, K. Milinkovic and T. Schilling

Institut für Physik, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität - Staudinger Weg 7, D-55099 Mainz, Germany, EU

received 1 August 2008; accepted in final form 22 August 2008; published October 2008
published online 18 September 2008

We present evidence from computer simulations for glassy dynamics in suspensions of monodisperse hard ellipsoids. In equilibrium, almost spherical ellipsoids show a first-order transition from an isotropic phase to a rotator phase. When overcompressing the isotropic phase into the rotator regime, we observe super-Arrhenius slowing-down of diffusion and relaxation, accompanied by two-step relaxation in positional and orientational correlators. The effects are strong enough for asymptotic laws of mode-coupling theory to apply. Glassy dynamics are unusual in monodisperse systems. Typically, polydispersity in size, a mixture of particle species or network-forming covalent bonds are prerequisite to prevent crystallization. Here, we show that a slight particle anisometry acts as a sufficient source of disorder. This sheds new light on the question of which ingredients are required for glass formation.

64.70.pv - Colloids.
61.20.Ja - Computer simulation of liquid structure.
61.25.Em - Molecular liquids.

© EPLA 2008