Observation of condensed phases of quasiplanar core-softened colloids

Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Dec 14;99(24):248301. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.99.248301. Epub 2007 Dec 11.


We experimentally study the condensed phases of repelling core-softened spheres in two dimensions. The dipolar pair repulsion between superparamagnetic spheres trapped in a thin cell is induced by a transverse magnetic field and softened by suitably adjusting the cell thickness. We scan a broad density range and we materialize a large part of the theoretically predicted phases in systems of core-softened particles, including expanded and close-packed hexagonal, square, chainlike, stripe or labyrinthine, and honeycomb phase. Further insight into their structure is provided by Monte Carlo simulations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colloids / chemistry*
  • Magnetics
  • Models, Chemical*


  • Colloids