Forming quasicrystals by monodisperse soft core particles.

01 May 2018

In traditional approaches to form quasicrystals, multiple competing length scales involved in particle size, shape, or interaction potential are believed to be necessary. It is unexpected that quasicrystals can be formed by monodisperse, isotropic particles interacting via a simple potential that does not contain explicit multiple length scales to stabilize quasicrystals. Here, we report the surprising finding of the formation of such quasicrystals in high-density systems of soft-core particles. Although there are length scales naturally introduced in our model systems, they do not establish the quasicrystalline order. In two dimensions, we find not only dodecagonal but also octagonal quasicrystals, which have not been found yet in soft quasicrystals. In such unexpected quasicrystals, particles tend to form pentagons, which are essential elements to develop the quasicrystalline order. Our findings thus pave an unexpected and simple way to form quasicrystals and pose a challenge for theoretical understanding of quasicrystals.