A Numerical Study on Defects Formation at the Onset of 3D Colloidal Crystal Self-Assembling
Colloidal self-assembly is an efficient method to obtain ordered three-dimensional (3D) nanostructures. However, the self-assembled nature of colloidal crystals invites the possibility for the formation of intrinsic crystal defects, such as point defects, line defects, and stacking faults, which have profound impacts on the macroscopic properties of materials. The intentional introduction and control of crystal defects are of considerable significance in material science, optical science and nanotechnology. The formation energy and interactions of crystal defects have been studied experimentally and numerically. However, current studies are mainly restricted to two-dimensional crystals and an understanding of the dynamics of crystal defects during colloidal self-assembly is still lacking. In this research work, we investigate the defects formation in 3D colloidal crystals through discrete element method (DEM) based simulation of colloidal self-assembly process. Using an in-house developed simulation platform, we demonstrate ordered 3D self-assembled colloidal structures with different type of crystal defects as a consequence of the variations of suspension confinement and fluid flow. The crystal defects and the formation mechanism of different defects are theoretically studied and compared through numerical simulation.
Chemeca 2010: Engineering at the Edge
Inorganic Chemistry not elsewhere classified