Reentrant transitions in a mixture of small and big particles interacting via soft repulsive potential

Itay Azizi, Alexander Y. Grosberg, Yitzhak Rabin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report an observation of a temperature-controlled reentrant transition in simulations of mixtures of small and big particles interacting via a soft repulsive potential in two dimensions. As temperature increases, the system passes from a fluid mixture, to a crystal of big particles in a fluid of small particles, and back to a fluid mixture. Solidification is driven by entropy gain of small particles which overcomes the free-energy cost of confining big ones. Melting results from enhanced interpenetration of particles at high temperature which reduces the entropic forces that stabilize the crystal.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL032604
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments. I.A. acknowledges many valuable discussions with Giorgio Cinacchi and the use of HPC facilities of NYU. A.Y.G. acknowledges stimulating and enjoyable discussions with Sergey Buldyrev. Y.R. would like to acknowledge support by grants from the Israel Science Foundation (ISF 178/16) and from the Israeli Centers for Research Excellence program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee (1902/12).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Physical Society.


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