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Achiral symmetry breaking and positive Gaussian modulus lead to scalloped colloidal membranes

Gibaud, Thomas and Kaplan, C Nadir and Sharma, Prerna and Zakhary, J Mark and Ward, Andrew and Oldenbourg, Rudolf and Meyer, B Robert and Kamien, D Randall and Powers, R Thomas and Dogic, Zvonimir (2017) Achiral symmetry breaking and positive Gaussian modulus lead to scalloped colloidal membranes. In: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 114 (17). E3376-E3384.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1617043114

Abstract

In the presence of a nonadsorbing polymer, monodisperse rod-like particles assemble into colloidal membranes, which are one-rod-length-thick liquid-like monolayers of aligned rods. Unlike 3D edgeless bilayer vesicles, colloidal monolayer membranes form open structures with an exposed edge, thus presenting an opportunity to study elasticity of fluid sheets. Membranes assembled from single-component chiral rods form flat disks with uniform edge twist. In comparison, membranes composed of a mixture of rods with opposite chiralities can have the edge twist of either handedness. In this limit, disk-shaped membranes become unstable, instead forming structures with scalloped edges, where two adjacent lobes with opposite handedness are separated by a cusp-shaped point defect. Such membranes adopt a 3D configuration, with cusp defects alternatively located above and below the membrane plane. In the achiral regime, the cusp defects have repulsive interactions, but away from this limit we measure effective long-ranged attractive binding. A phenomenological model shows that the increase in the edge energy of scalloped membranes is compensated by concomitant decrease in the deformation energy due to Gaussian curvature associated with scalloped edges, demonstrating that colloidal membranes have positive Gaussian modulus. A simple excluded volume argument predicts the sign and magnitude of the Gaussian curvature modulus that is in agreement with experimental measurements. Our results provide insight into how the interplay between membrane elasticity, geometrical frustration, and achiral symmetry breaking can be used to fold colloidal membranes into 3D shapes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the NATL ACAD SCIENCES, 2101 CONSTITUTION AVE NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20418 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 20 May 2017 06:50
Last Modified: 20 May 2017 06:50
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/56944

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