- Direct Observation of Entropic Stabilization of bcc Crystals Near Melting
- Physical Review Letters
- Volume | Issue number
- 118 | 8
- Article number
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute (WZI)
Crystals with low latent heat are predicted to melt from an entropically stabilized body-centered cubic symmetry. At this weakly first-order transition, strongly correlated fluctuations are expected to emerge, which could change the nature of the transition. Here we show how large fluctuations stabilize bcc crystals formed from charged colloids, giving rise to strongly power-law correlated heterogeneous dynamics. Moreover, we find that significant nonaffine particle displacements lead to a vanishing of the nonaffine shear modulus at the transition. We interpret these observations by reformulating the Born-Huang theory to account for nonaffinity, illustrating a scenario of ordered solids reaching a state where classical lattice dynamics fail.
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- © 2017 American Physical Society. - With supplemental material
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