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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 199334 matches for " Christos N. Likos "
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Phonon dispersions of cluster crystals
Tim Neuhaus,Christos N. Likos
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/23/23/234112
Abstract: We analyze the ground states and the elementary collective excitations (phonons) of a class of systems, which form cluster crystals in the absence of attractions. Whereas the regime of moderate-to-high-temperatures in the phase diagram has been analyzed in detail by means of density functional considerations (Likos C N, Mladek B M, Gottwald D and Kahl G 2007 {\it J.~Chem.~Phys.}\ {\bf 126} 224502), the present approach focuses on the complementary regime of low temperatures. We establish the existence of an infinite cascade of isostructural transitions between crystals with different lattice site occupancy at $T=0$ and we quantitatively demonstrate that the thermodynamic instabilities are bracketed by mechanical instabilities arising from long-wavelength acoustical phonons. We further show that all optical modes are degenerate and flat, giving rise to perfect realizations of Einstein crystals. We calculate analytically the complete phonon spectrum for the whole class of models as well as the Helmholtz free energy of the systems. On the basis of the latter, we demonstrate that the aforementioned isostructural phase transitions must terminate at an infinity of critical points at low temperatures, brought about by the anharmonic contributions in the Hamiltonian and the hopping events in the crystals.
Influence of Fluctuating Membranes on Self-Assembly of Patchy Colloids
Richard Matthews,Christos N. Likos
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.178302
Abstract: A coarse-grained computational model is used to investigate the effect of a fluid membrane on patchy-particle assembly into biologically-relevant structures motivated by viral cores and clathrin. For cores, we demonstrate a non-monotonic dependence of the promotion of assembly on membrane stiffness. If the membrane is significantly deformable, cores are enveloped in buds, although this effect is suppressed for very flexible membranes. In the less deformable regime, we observe no marked enhancement for cores, even for strong adhesion to the surface. For clarthrin-like particles, we again observe the formation of buds, whose morphology depends on membrane-flexibility.
Polyelectrolyte stars in planar confinement
Martin Konieczny,Christos N. Likos
Physics , 2006, DOI: 10.1063/1.2202855
Abstract: We employ monomer-resolved Molecular Dynamics simulations and theoretical considerations to analyze the conformations of multiarm polyelectrolyte stars close to planar, uncharged walls. We identify three mechanisms that contribute to the emergence of a repulsive star-wall force, namely: the confinement of the counterions that are trapped in the star interior, the increase in electrostatic energy due to confinement as well as a novel mechanism arising from the compression of the stiff polyelectrolyte rods approaching the wall. The latter is not present in the case of interaction between two polyelectrolyte stars and is a direct consequence of the impenetrable character of the planar wall.
Structures and pathways for clathrin self-assembly in the bulk and on membranes
Richard Matthews,Christos N. Likos
Quantitative Biology , 2014, DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50737H
Abstract: We present a coarse-grained model of clathrin that is simple enough to be computationally tractable yet includes key observed qualitative features: a triskelion structure with excluded volume between legs; assembly of polymorphic cages in the bulk; formation of buds on a membrane. We investigate the assembly of our model using both Monte Carlo simulations and molecular dynamics with hydrodynamic interactions, in the latter employing a new membrane boundary condition. In the bulk, a range of known clathrin structures are assembled. A membrane budding pathway involving the coalescence of multiple small clusters is identified.
Dynamics of Self-Assembly of Model Viral Capsids in the Presence of a Fluctuating Membrane
Richard Matthews,Christos N. Likos
Quantitative Biology , 2013, DOI: 10.1021/jp4037099
Abstract: A coarse-grained computational model is used to investigate the effect of a fluctuating fluid membrane on the dynamics of patchy-particle assembly into virus capsid-like cores. Results from simulations for a broad range of parameters are presented, showing the effect of varying interaction strength, membrane stiffness and membrane viscosity. Furthermore, the effect of hydrodynamic interactions is investigated. Attraction to a membrane may promote assembly, including for sub-unit interaction strengths for which it does not occur in the bulk, and may also decrease single-core assembly time. The membrane budding rate is strongly increased by hydrodynamic interactions. The membrane deformation rate is important in determining the finite-time yield. Higher rates may decrease the entropic penalty for assembly and help guide sub-units towards each other but may also block partial cores from being completed. For increasing sub-unit interaction strength, three regimes with different effects of the membrane are identified.
Charge-induced conformational changes of dendrimers
Ronald Blaak,Swen Lehmann,Christos N. Likos
Physics , 2008, DOI: 10.1021/ma800283z
Abstract: We study the effect of chargeable monomers on the conformation of dendrimers of low generation by computer simulations, employing bare Coulomb interactions. The presence of the latter leads to an increase in size of the dendrimer due to a combined effect of electrostatic repulsion and the presence of counterions within the dendrimer, and also enhances a shell-like structure for the monomers of different generations. In the resulting structures the bond-length between monomers, especially near the center, will increase to facilitate a more effective usage of space in the outer-regions of the dendrimer.
Influence of Rigidity and Knot Complexity on the Knotting of Confined Polymers
Peter Poier,Christos N. Likos,Richard Matthews
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1021/ma5006414
Abstract: We employ computer simulations and thermodynamic integration to analyse the effects of bending rigidity and slit confinement on the free energy cost of tying knots, $\Delta F_{\rm knotting}$, on polymer chains under tension. A tension-dependent, non-zero optimal stiffness $\kappa_{\rm min}$ exists, for which $\Delta F_{\rm knotting}$ is minimal. For a polymer chain with several stiffness domains, each containing a large amount of monomers, the domain with stiffness $\kappa_{\rm min}$ will be preferred by the knot. A {\it local} analysis of the bending in the interior of the knot reveals that local stretching of chains at the braid region is responsible for the fact that the tension-dependent optimal stiffness has a non-zero value. The reduction in $\Delta F_{\rm knotting}$ for a chain with optimal stiffness relative to the flexible chain can be enhanced by tuning the slit width of the 2D confinement and increasing the knot complexity. The optimal stiffness itself is independent of the knot types we considered, while confinement shifts it towards lower values.
Equilibrium properties of charged microgels: a Poisson-Boltzmann-Flory approach
Thiago Colla,Christos N. Likos,Yan Levin
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1063/1.4903746
Abstract: The equilibrium properties of ionic microgels are investigated using a combination of the Poisson-Boltzmann and Flory theories. Swelling behavior, density profiles, and effective charges are all calculated in a self-consistent way. Special attention is given to the effects of salinity on these quantities. It is found that the equilibrium microgel size is strongly influenced by the amount of added salt. Increasing the salt concentration leads to a considerable reduction of the microgel volume, which therefore releases its internal material -- solvent molecules and dissociated ions -- into the solution. Finally, the question of charge renormalization of ionic microgels in the context of the cell model is briefly addressed.
Diffusion and Relaxation Dynamics in Cluster Crystals
Angel J. Moreno,Christos N. Likos
Physics , 2007, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.99.107801
Abstract: For a large class of fluids exhibiting ultrasoft bounded pair potentials, particles form crystals consisting of clusters located in the lattice sites, with a density-independent lattice constant. Here we present an investigation on the dynamic features of a representative example of this class. It is found that particles can diffuse between lattice sites, maintaining the lattice structure, through an activated hopping mechanism. This feature yields finite values for the diffusivity and full relaxation of density correlation functions. Simulations suggest the existence of a localization transition which is avoided by hopping, and a dynamic decoupling between self- and collective correlations.
Soft self-assembled nanoparticles with temperature-dependent properties
Lorenzo Rovigatti,Barbara Capone,Christos N. Likos
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: The fabrication of versatile building blocks that are reliably self-assemble into desired ordered and disordered phases is amongst the hottest topics in contemporary material science. To this end, microscopic units of varying complexity, aimed at assembling the target phases, have been thought, designed, investigated and built. Such a path usually requires laborious fabrication techniques, especially when a specific funcionalisation of the building blocks is required. Telechelic star polymers, i.e., star polymers made of a number $f$ of di-block copolymers consisting of solvophobic and solvophilic monomers grafted on a central anchoring point, spontaneously self-assemble into soft patchy particles featuring attractive spots (patches) on the surface. Here we show that the tunability of such a system can be widely extended by controlling the physical and chemical parameters of the solution. Indeed, at fixed external conditions the self-assembly behaviour depends only on the number of arms and/or on the ratio of solvophobic to solvophilic monomers. However, changes in temperature and/or solvent quality makes it possible to reliably change the number and size of the attractive patches. This allows to steer the mesoscopic self-assembly behaviour without modifying the microscopic constituents. Interestingly, we also demonstrate that diverse combinations of the parameters can generate stars with the same number of patches but different radial and angular stiffness. This mechanism could provide a neat way of further fine-tuning the elastic properties of the supramolecular network without changing its topology.
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