Packing confined hard spheres denser with adaptive prism phases

Erdal C. Oǧuz*, Matthieu Marechal, Fernando Ramiro-Manzano, Isabelle Rodriguez, René Messina, Francisco J. Meseguer, Hartmut Löwen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We show that hard spheres confined between two parallel hard plates pack denser with periodic adaptive prismatic structures which are composed of alternating prisms of spheres. The internal structure of the prisms adapts to the slit height which results in close packings for a range of plate separations, just above the distance where three intersecting square layers fit exactly between the plates. The adaptive prism phases are also observed in real-space experiments on confined sterically stabilized colloids and in Monte Carlo simulations at finite pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number218301
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - 21 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


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