Percolation transitions of confinement-induced layering and intralayer structural orders in three-dimensional Yukawa liquids

YC Zhao and HW Hu and I Lin, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 107, 044119 (2023).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.107.044119

The disorder-order transitions of layering and intralayer structural orders of three-dimensional Yukawa liquids, under the enhanced confinement effect with decreasing normal distance z to the confinement boundary, is investigated numerically. The liquid between the two flat boundaries is segmented into many slabs parallel to the boundary, with the same slab width as the layer width. In each slab, particle sites are binarized into sites with layering order (LOSs)/ layering disorder (LDSs) and with intralayer structural order (SOSs)/disorder (SDSs). It is found that with decreasing z , a small fraction of LOSs starts to heterogeneously emerge in the form of small clusters in the slab, followed by the emergence of the large percolating LOS clusters spanning over the system. The smooth rapid rise of the fraction of LOSs from small values followed by their gradual saturations, and the scaling behavior of multiscale LOS clustering, are similar to those of the nonequilibrium systems governed by the percolation theory. The disorder- order transition of intraslab structural ordering also exhibits a similar generic behavior as that of layering with the same transition slab number. The spatial fluctuations of local layering order and local intralayer structural order are uncorrelated in the bulk liquid and the outmost layer next to the boundary. Approaching the percolating transition slab, their correlation gradually increases to the maximum.

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