Self-Assembly of Spherical Colloidal Particles at Low N

Workshop on Topology: Identifying Order in Complex Systems
Topic:Self-Assembly of Spherical Colloidal Particles at Low N
Speaker:Natalie Arkus
Affiliation:The Rockefeller University
Date:Wednesday, April 4
Time/Room:4:00pm - 5:00pm/David Rittenhouse Lab.(Room A-8), University of Pennsylvania

The number of energetically stable structures that a system of N particles can form grows exponentially with N. Stabilizing any one structure over all others is thus a challenging problem. We consider a system of N spherical colloidal particles that cannot deform or overlap, and which exhibit a short-range attractive force. We present a method, using graph theory and geometry, that solves for all possible packings of N particles. We then present a mechanism that is capable of stabilizing any one structure over all others (in the zero temperature limit), and which is experimentally realizable - thereby, potentially allowing us to direct the self-assembly of a desired structure.