Bond-orientational order and Frank’s constant in two-dimensional colloidal hard spheres

Alice L Thorneywork, Joshua L Abbott, Dirk GAL Aarts, Peter Keim, and Roel PA Dullens

J. Phys-Condens. Mat. 2018 30 104003

Recently, the full phase behaviour of 2D colloidal hard spheres was experimentally established, and found to involve a first order liquid to hexatic transition and a continuous hexatic to crystal transition (Thorneywork et al 2017 Phys. Rev. Lett. 118 158001). Here, we expand upon this work by considering the behaviour of the bond-orientational correlation time and Frank's constant in the region of these phase transitions. We also consider the excess entropy, as calculated from the radial distribution functions, for a wide range of area fractions covering the liquid, hexatic and crystal phases. In all cases, the behaviour of these quantities further corroborates the previously reported melting scenario of 2D colloidal hard spheres.