Herrera-Velarde, S.; Euán-Díaz, E.C.; Castañeda-Priego, R. Ordering and Dynamics of Interacting Colloidal Particles under Soft Confinement. Colloids Interfaces2021, 5, 29.
Herrera-Velarde, S.; Euán-Díaz, E.C.; Castañeda-Priego, R. Ordering and Dynamics of Interacting Colloidal Particles under Soft Confinement. Colloids Interfaces 2021, 5, 29.
Confinement can induce substantial changes in the physical properties of macromolecules in suspension. Soft confinement is a particular class of restriction where the boundaries that constraint the particles in a region of the space are not well-defined. This scenario leads to a broader structural and dynamical behavior than the observed in systems enclosed between rigid walls. In this contribution, we study the ordering and diffusive properties of a two-dimensional colloidal model system subjected to a one-dimensional parabolic trap. Increasing the trap strength makes it possible to go through weak to strong confinement, allowing a dimensional transition from two- to one-dimension. The non-monotonic response of the static and dynamical properties to the gradual dimensionality change affects the system phase behavior. We find that the particle dynamics is connected with the structural transitions induced by the parabolic trap. In particular, at low and intermediate confinement regimes, complex structural and dynamical scenarios arise, where the softness of the external potential induces melting and freezing, resulting in faster and slower particle diffusion, respectively. Besides, at strong confinements, colloids move basically along one direction, and the whole system behaves structurally and dynamically similar to a one-dimensional colloidal system.
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