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Patchy particles

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Patchy particles [1] are models designed to keep pace with the rapid advances in the field of colloids. It is now possible to synthesise or fabricate tiny particles that have a variety of shapes, composition etc. In order to simulate these structures, there is a corresponding growth in the number of idealised models being developed and studied. With a view to classifying these "patchy" models the idea of "anisotropy dimensions" has been put forward.

Taxonomy: anisotropy dimensions[edit]

Anisotropy dimensions is a classification scheme for patchy particles [2]. The eight attributes are as follows:

Surface coverage (A)[edit]

Patchy dimension A.png

Aspect ratio (B)[edit]

Patchy dimension B.png

Faceting (C)[edit]

Patchy dimension C.png

Pattern quantisation (D)[edit]

Patchy dimension D.png

Branching (E)[edit]

Patchy dimension E.png

Chemical ordering (F)[edit]

Patchy dimension F.png

Shape gradient (G)[edit]

Patchy dimension G.png

Roughness (H)[edit]

Patchy dimension H.png


See also[edit]


  1. Zhenli Zhang and Sharon C. Glotzer "Self-Assembly of Patchy Particles", Nano Letters 4 pp. 1407-1413 (2004)
  2. Sharon C. Glotzer and Michael J. Solomon "Anisotropy of building blocks and their assembly into complex structures", Nature Materials 6 pp. 557-562 (2007)

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