Colloidal superionic conductors

Yange Lin, Monica Olvera de la Cruz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nanoparticles with highly asymmetric sizes and charges that self-assemble into crystals via electrostatics may exhibit behaviors reminiscent of those of metals or superionic materials. Here, we use coarse-grained molecular simulations with underdamped Langevin dynamics to explore how a binary charged colloidal crystal reacts to an external electric field. As the field strength increases, we find transitions from insulator (ionic state), to superionic (conductive state), to laning, to complete melting (liquid state). In the superionic state, the resistivity decreases with increasing temperature, which is contrary to metals, yet the increment decreases as the electric field becomes stronger. Additionally, we verify that the dissipation of the system and the fluctuation of charge currents obey recently developed thermodynamic uncertainty relation. Our results describe charge transport mechanisms in colloidal superionic conductors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2300257120
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 11 2023


  • colloidal crystals
  • dissipation
  • lane formation
  • sublattice melting
  • thermodynamic uncertainty relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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