Which wavenumbers determine the thermodynamic stability of soft matter quasicrystals?

Archer, A. J., Ratliff, D.J., Rucklidge, A. M. & Subramanian, P.,


For soft matter to form quasicrystals an important ingredient is to have two characteristic lengthscales in the interparticle interactions. To be more precise, for stable quasicrystals, periodic modulations of the local density distribution with two particular wavenumbers should be favored, and the ratio of these wavenumbers should be close to certain special values. So, for simple models, the answer to the title question is that only these two ingredients are needed. However, for more realistic models, where in principle all wavenumbers can be involved, other wavenumbers are also important, specifically those of the second and higher reciprocal lattice vectors. We identify features in the particle pair interaction potentials which can suppress or encourage density modes with wavenumbers associated with one of the regular crystalline orderings that compete with quasicrystals, enabling either the enhancement or suppression of quasicrystals in a generic class of systems.

Publication details: accepted for publication with Physical Review Letters, 2019.