Activated surface diffusion in a simple colloid system

Minsu Kim, Stephen M. Anthony, Steve Granick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate, from single-particle tracking of jumps, the cluster configurations that allow hopping over a geometric activation barrier in surface diffusion. Spherical colloidal particles, their dimers, and their isomeric planar trimers are compared on hexagonal surface lattices commensurate with the elemental size of one particle. The experiments reveal that translational and rotational mobility depend on the shape of these clusters, not only on their mass, because the jump process favors a restricted family of cluster configurations. The resulting strong decoupling between rotation and translation demonstrates the limitations of a naïve Arrhenius picture, even for a simple gravitational potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number178303
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 30 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Activated surface diffusion in a simple colloid system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this