Monolayers on crystalline surfaces often form complex structures having physical and chemical properties strongly differing from those of their bulk phases. Such hetero-epitactic overlayers are currently used in nanotechnology and understanding their growth mechanism is important for the development of novel materials and devices. Compared to crystals, quasicrystalline surfaces exhibit much larger structural and chemical complexity leading e.g. to unusual frictional, catalytical or optical properties. Accordingly, deposition of thin films onto such substrates can lead to novel structures which may even exhibit typical quasicrystalline properties. Here we report a real-space investigation of the phase behaviour of a colloidal monolayer interacting with a quasicrystalline decagonal substrate created by interfering five laser beams. We observe a novel pseudomorphic phase which exhibits likewise crystalline and quasicrystalline structural properties and can be described by an Archimedean-like tiling consisting of alternating rows of square and triangular tiles. In addition, we also investigate the frictional properties of monolayers on quasiperiodic surfaces. Here, we find that the particles do not follow the applied external force but that their trajectories exhibit characteristic features which resemble kink-like excitations also found on periodic surfaces.
Joint ICTP/SISSA Colloquium on Condensed Matter Physics: "Colloidal monolayers on quasicrystalline surfaces"
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