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Crystallization And Reentrant Melting Of Charged Colloids In Nonpolar Solvents

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  • Toshimitsu Kanai
  • Niels Boon
  • Peter J Lu
  • Eli Sloutskin
  • Andrew B Schofield
  • Frank Smallenburg
  • Rene van Roij
  • Marjolein Dijkstra
  • David A Weitz

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Original languageEnglish
Article number030301
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review E
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2015


We explore the crystallization of charged colloidal particles in a nonpolar solvent mixture. We simultaneously charge the particles and add counterions to the solution with aerosol-OT (AOT) reverse micelles. At low AOT concentrations, the charged particles crystallize into body-centered-cubic (bcc) or face-centered-cubic (fcc) Wigner crystals; at high AOT concentrations, the increased screening drives a thus far unobserved reentrant melting transition. We observe an unexpected scaling of the data with particle size, and account for all behavior with a model that quantitatively predicts both the reentrant melting and the data collapse.

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