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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Aug 5;107(6):065702. Epub 2011 Aug 1.

Glass transitions in quasi-two-dimensional suspensions of colloidal ellipsoids.

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  • 1Department of Physics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, China.


We observed a two-step glass transition in monolayers of colloidal ellipsoids by video microscopy. The glass transition in the rotational degree of freedom was at a lower density than that in the translational degree of freedom. Between the two transitions, ellipsoids formed an orientational glass. Approaching the respective glass transitions, the rotational and translational fastest-moving particles in the supercooled liquid moved cooperatively and formed clusters with power-law size distributions. The mean cluster sizes diverge in power law as they approach the glass transitions. The clusters of translational and rotational fastest-moving ellipsoids formed mainly within pseudonematic domains and around the domain boundaries, respectively.

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