Physical Review Letters 117 (2016) 075501. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.075501

Three-dimensional Icosahedral Phase Field Quasicrystal

P. Subramanian (1), A.J. Archer (2), E. Knobloch (3) and A.M. Rucklidge (1)

(1) Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
(2) Department of Mathematical Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK
(3) Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-7300, USA

Abstract. We investigate the formation and stability of icosahedral quasicrystalline structures using a dynamic phase field crystal model. Nonlinear interactions between density waves at two length scales stabilize three-dimensional quasicrystals. We determine the phase diagram and parameter values required for the quasicrystal to be the global minimum free energy state. We demonstrate that traits that promote the formation of two-dimensional quasicrystals are extant in three dimensions, and highlight the characteristics required for three-dimensional soft matter quasicrystal formation.

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This paper is an Editors' Suggestion. Priya Subramanian has written an article on this work for The Conversation UK.