Structural and Dynamical Features of Multiple Metastable Glassy States in a Colloidal System with Competing Interactions

Christian L. Klix, C. Patrick Royall, Hajime Tanaka
2010 Physical Review Letters  
Systems in which a short-ranged attraction and long-ranged repulsion compete are intrinsically frustrated, leading their structure and dynamics to be dominated either by mesoscopic order or by metastable disorder. Here we report the latter case in a colloidal system with long-ranged electrostatic repulsions and short-ranged depletion attractions. We find a variety of states exhibiting slow non-diffusive dynamics: a gel, a glassy state of clusters, and a state reminiscent of a Wigner glass.
more » ... Wigner glass. Varying the interactions, we find a continuous crossover between the Wigner and cluster glassy states, and a sharp discontinuous transition between the Wigner glassy state and gel. This difference reflects the fact that dynamic arrest is driven by repulsion for the two glassy states and attraction in the case of the gel.
doi:10.1103/physrevlett.104.165702 pmid:20482066 fatcat:25nvndt4rzfwljuiysceewpmcy