Structure and reentrant percolation in an inverse patchy colloidal system
AbstractTwo-dimensional systems of inverse patchy colloids modeled as disks with a central charge and having their surface decorated with oppositely pointlike charged patches are investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. The self-assembly of the patchy colloids leads to diverse ground state configurations ranging from crystalline arrangements of monomers to linear clusters, ramified linear clusters and to percolated configurations. Two structural phase diagrams are constructed: (1) as a function of the net charge and area fraction, and (2) as a function of the net charge and the range of the pair interaction potential. An interesting reentrant percolation transition is obtained as a function of the net charge of the colloids. We identify distinct mechanisms that lead to the percolation transition.