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Colloids Reproduce Interatom Interactions on Surfaces


• Physics 15, s113

By epitaxially rising movies from colloids, researchers present that they will monitor interactions and behaviors of the particles which can be troublesome—and typically inconceivable—to seize for comparable movies grown from atoms.

M. Mondal and R. Ganapathy [1]

Many parts in as we speak’s applied sciences are constructed by controlling the meeting of elementary constructing blocks. For instance, in “epitaxy,” parts are normally made by depositing atoms layer-by-layer onto a substrate. Epitaxy strategies additionally exist for bigger techniques, akin to micrometer-diameter colloids. Now Manodeep Mondal and Rajesh Ganapathy of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Superior Scientific Analysis, India, present that interactions amongst epitaxially deposited colloids comply with predictions made for atomic techniques [1]. They are saying that the discovering may assist to enhance nanofabrication strategies.

Of their experiments, Mondal and Ganapathy deposited colloids onto substrates patterned with sq. arrays of holes. The opening spacing various between substrates and differed barely from the popular colloid spacing. The duo mapped the impact of the ensuing “misfit” pressure on the expansion of the colloidal buildings utilizing microscopy measurements.

For low misfit strains, they discovered that the speed of colloid diffusion throughout the substrate remained fixed with growing construction peak. In addition they discovered little distortion of underlying layers as new ones shaped on high. For prime misfit strains, they discovered that the diffusion price various considerably with construction peak and that distortion results influenced how the buildings developed. For instance, for misfit strains of 4.5%, they discovered that interactions amongst colloids warped the underlying substrate, resulting in extra patchy buildings. The outcomes match predictions for atomic techniques, which, being 10,000 instances smaller than the colloids utilized in these experiments, are practically inconceivable to trace on this method.

“It’s all the time a delight to immediately observe and quantify an impact anticipated by concept and simulations,” Ganapathy says. “We’re notably excited in regards to the wide selection of size scales over which comparable physics appears to work.”

–Katherine Wright

Katherine Wright is the Deputy Editor of Physics Journal.


  1. M. Mondal and R. Ganapathy, “Direct measurements of floor strain-mediated lateral interactions between adsorbates in colloidal heteroepitaxy,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 129, 088003 (2022).

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