Stability of columnar order in assemblies of hard rectangles or squares
1 The Institute of Mathematical Sciences - C.I.T. Campus, Taramani, Chennai 600113, India
2 Department of Theoretical Physics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research - Homi Bhabha Road, Mumbai 400005, India
Received: 10 January 2016
Accepted: 4 April 2016
A system of 2 × d hard rectangles on a square lattice is known to show four different phases for d ≥ 14. As the covered area fraction ρ is increased from 0 to 1, the system goes from a low-density disordered phase to an orientationally ordered nematic phase, to a columnar phase with orientational order and also broken translational invariance, to a high-density phase in which orientational order is lost. For large d, the threshold density for the first transition tends to 0, and the critical density for the third transition tends to 1. Interestingly, simulations have shown that the critical density for the second transition tends to a non-trivial finite value , as , and for d = 2. We provide a theoretical explanation of this interesting result. We develop an approximation scheme to calculate the surface tension between two differently ordered columnar phases. The density at which the surface tension vanishes gives an estimate , for , and for d = 2. For all values of d, these estimates are in good agreement with Monte Carlo data.
PACS: 05.50.+q – Lattice theory and statistics (Ising, Potts, etc.) / 64.60.De – Statistical mechanics of model systems (Ising model, Potts model, field-theory models, Monte Carlo techniques, etc.) / 64.60.Bd – General theory of phase transitions
© EPLA, 2016