Convectively Assembled Monolayers of Colloidal Cubes: Evidence of Optimal Packings

Janne Mieke Meijer*, Vera Meester, Fabian Hagemans, H. N.W. Lekkerkerker, Albert P. Philipse, Andrei V. Petukhov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We employ a system of cubic colloids with rounded corners to study the close-packed monolayers that form via convective assembly. We show that by controlled solvent evaporation large densely packed monolayers of colloidal cubes are obtained. Using scanning electron microscopy and particle-tracking algorithms, we investigate the local order in detail and show that the obtained monolayers possess their predicted close-packed optimal packings, the Î 0 -lattice and the Î 1 -lattice, as well as the simple square-lattice and disordered packings. We further show that shape details of the cube corners are important for the final packing symmetry, where the frequency of the Î 1 -lattice increases with decreasing roundness of the corners, whereas the frequency of the Î 0 -lattice is unaffected. The formation of both optimal packings is found to be a consequence of the out-of-equilibrium formation process, which leads to small shifts in rows of cubes, thereby transforming the Î 1 -lattice into the Î 0 -lattice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4946-4955
Number of pages10
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2019


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