Attraction controls the entropy of fluctuations in isosceles triangular networks

Fabio Leoni, Yair Shokef*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study two-dimensional triangular-network models, which have degenerate ground states composed of straight or randomly-zigzagging stripes and thus sub-extensive residual entropy. We show that attraction is responsible for the inversion of the stable phase by changing the entropy of fluctuations around the ground-state configurations. By using a real-space shell-expansion method, we compute the exact expression of the entropy for harmonic interactions, while for repulsive harmonic interactions we obtain the entropy arising from a limited subset of the system by numerical integration. We compare these results with a three-dimensional triangular-network model, which shows the same attraction-mediated selection mechanism of the stable phase, and conclude that this effect is general with respect to the dimensionality of the system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Confined colloids
  • Geometric frustration
  • Order by disorder
  • Residual entropy


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