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Crystals 2017, 7(6), 153; doi:10.3390/cryst7060153

Curvature-Controlled Topological Defects

1
Laboratory of Biophysics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Tržaška 25, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2
Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School, Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3
Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kasprzaka 44/52, 01-224 Warsaw, Poland
4
Condensed Matter Physics Department, Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
5
Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor, Koroška 160, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helmut Cölfen
Received: 18 April 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
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Abstract

Effectively, two-dimensional (2D) closed films exhibiting in-plane orientational ordering (ordered shells) might be instrumental for the realization of scaled crystals. In them, ordered shells are expected to play the role of atoms. Furthermore, topological defects (TDs) within them would determine their valence. Namely, bonding among shells within an isotropic liquid matrix could be established via appropriate nano-binders (i.e., linkers) which tend to be attached to the cores of TDs exploiting the defect core replacement mechanism. Consequently, by varying configurations of TDs one could nucleate growth of scaled crystals displaying different symmetries. For this purpose, it is of interest to develop a simple and robust mechanism via which one could control the position and number of TDs in such atoms. In this paper, we use a minimal mesoscopic model, where variational parameters are the 2D curvature tensor and the 2D orientational tensor order parameter. We demonstrate numerically the efficiency of the effective topological defect cancellation mechanism to predict positional assembling of TDs in ordered films characterized by spatially nonhomogeneous Gaussian curvature. Furthermore, we show how one could efficiently switch among qualitatively different structures by using a relative volume v of ordered shells, which represents a relatively simple naturally accessible control parameter. View Full-Text
Keywords: topological defects; Gaussian curvature; self-assembling; crystal growth nucleation topological defects; Gaussian curvature; self-assembling; crystal growth nucleation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Mesarec, L.; Kurioz, P.; Iglič, A.; Góźdź, W.; Kralj, S. Curvature-Controlled Topological Defects. Crystals 2017, 7, 153.

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