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Science. 2003 Mar 14;299(5613):1716-8.

Grain boundary scars and spherical crystallography.

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1
Department of Physics, E22, Technische Universität München, 85747 München, Germany.

Abstract

We describe experimental investigations of the structure of two-dimensional spherical crystals. The crystals, formed by beads self-assembled on water droplets in oil, serve as model systems for exploring very general theories about the minimum-energy configurations of particles with arbitrary repulsive interactions on curved surfaces. Above a critical system size we find that crystals develop distinctive high-angle grain boundaries, or scars, not found in planar crystals. The number of excess defects in a scar is shown to grow linearly with the dimensionless system size. The observed slope is expected to be universal, independent of the microscopic potential.

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PMID:
12637740
DOI:
10.1126/science.1081160
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