Packing confined hard spheres denser with adaptive prism phases

Autores UPV
Revista Physical Review Letters


We show that hard spheres confined between two parallel hard plates pack denser with periodic adaptive prismatic structures which are composed of alternating prisms of spheres. The internal structure of the prisms adapts to the slit height which results in close packings for a range of plate separations, just above the distance where three intersecting square layers fit exactly between the plates. The adaptive prism phases are also observed in real-space experiments on confined sterically stabilized colloids and in Monte Carlo simulations at finite pressure. © 2012 American Physical Society.