Buckled colloidal monolayers connect geometric frustration in soft and hard matter

Yair Shokef, Yilong Han, Anton Souslov, A. G. Yodh, Tom C. Lubensky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (SciVal)


Buckled monolayers of diameter-tunable microgel spheres constitute a soft-matter model system for studying geometric frustration in hard-condensed-matter antiferromagnetic materials. In the plane, the spheres self-assemble to form a triangular lattice. By considering the free volume available to two spheres slightly out of the plane, one finds an effective antiferromagnetic interaction; each pair of neighboring spheres prefers to be one up and one down. However, the topology of the triangular lattice prevents all pairs from simultaneously satisfying this rule. The micrometer length scale of the spheres enables direct visualization of the 'spin' dynamics at the single-particle level. These dynamics exhibit glassiness, which originates from the in-plane lattice distortions that partially relieve frustration and produce ground states with zigzagging stripes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6565-6570
Number of pages6
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number29
Early online date13 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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