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Inherent Structures for Soft Long-Range Interactions in Two-Dimensional Many-Particle Systems

By Robert D. Batten, Frank H. Stillinger and Salvatore Torquato


We generate inherent structures, local potential-energy minima, of the "$k$-space overlap potential" in two-dimensional many-particle systems using a cooling and quenching simulation technique. The ground states associated with the $k$-space overlap potential are stealthy ({\it i.e.,} completely suppress single scattering of radiation for a range of wavelengths) and hyperuniform ({\it i.e.,} infinite wavelength density fluctuations vanish). However, we show via quantitative metrics that the inherent structures exhibit a range of stealthiness and hyperuniformity depending on the fraction of degrees of freedom that are constrained. Inherent structures in two dimensions typically contain five-particle rings, wavy grain boundaries, and vacancy-interstitial defects. The structural and thermodynamic properties of inherent structures are relatively insensitive to the temperature from which they are sampled, signifying that the energy landscape is relatively flat and devoid of deep wells. Using the nudged-elastic-band algorithm, we construct paths from ground-state configurations to inherent structures and identify the transition points between them. In addition, we use point patterns generated from a random sequential addition (RSA) of hard disks, which are nearly stealthy, and examine the particle rearrangements necessary to make the configurations absolutely stealthy. We introduce a configurational proximity metric to show that only small local, but collective, particle rearrangements are needed to drive initial RSA configurations to stealthy disordered ground states. These results lead to a more complete understanding of the unusual behaviors exhibited by the family of "collective-coordinate" potentials to which the $k$-space overlap potential belongs.Comment: 36 pages, 16 figure

Topics: Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1063/1.3615527
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