Dynamic heterogeneities and non-Gaussian behavior in two-dimensional randomly confined colloidal fluids

Simon K Schnyder, Thomas O E Skinner, Alice L Thorneywork, Dirk G A L Aarts, Juergen Horbach, and Roel P A Dullens

Phys. Rev. E 2017 95 032602

A binary mixture of superparamagnetic colloidal particles is confined between glass plates such that the large particles become fixed and provide a two-dimensional disorderedmatrix for the still mobile small particles, which form a fluid. By varying fluid and matrix area fractions and tuning the interactions between the superparamagnetic particles via an external magnetic field, different regions of the state diagram are explored. The mobile particles exhibit delocalized dynamics at smallmatrix area fractions and localized motion at highmatrix area fractions, and the localization transition is rounded by the soft interactions [T. O. E. Skinner et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 128301 ( 2013)]. Expanding on previous work, we find the dynamics of the tracers to be strongly heterogeneous and show that molecular dynamics simulations of an ideal gas confined in a fixed matrix exhibit similar behavior. The simulations show how these soft interactions make the dynamics more heterogeneous compared to the disordered Lorentz gas and lead to strong non-Gaussian fluctuations.