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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2014 Aug;90(2):022301. Epub 2014 Aug 12.

Clustering of low-valence particles: structure and kinetics.

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Institut de Biologie du Développement de Marseille, UMR7288 CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université, Campus de Luminy, 13288 Marseille cedex 9, France.
University of Washington, 620 University Rd., Friday Harbor, Washington 98250, USA.
Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, 5801 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


We compute the structure and kinetics of two systems of low-valence particles with three or six freely oriented bonds in two dimensions. The structure of clusters formed by trivalent particles is complex with loops and holes, while hexavalent particles self-organize into regular and compact structures. We identify the elementary structures which compose the clusters of trivalent particles. At initial stages of clustering, the clusters of trivalent particles grow with a power-law time dependence. Yet at longer times fusion and fission of clusters equilibrates and clusters form a heterogeneous phase with polydispersed sizes. These results emphasize the role of valence in the kinetics and stability of finite-size clusters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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