With the use of optical traps it is possible to confine assemblies of colloidal particles in two-dimensional and quasi-one-dimensional arrays. Here we examine how colloidal particles rearrange in a quasi-one-dimensional trap with a time dependent confining potential. The particle motion occurs both through slow elastic uniaxial distortions as well as through abrupt large-scale two-dimensional avalanches associated with plastic rearrangements. During the avalanches the particle velocity distributions extend over a broad range and can be fit to a power law consistent with other studies of plastic events mediated by dislocations.
C. J. Olson Reichhardt, D. McDermott, and C. Reichhardt, "Avalanches and plasticity for colloids in a time dependent optical trap," Proc. SPIE 9548, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XII, 954818 (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 11, 2015; Published: 25 August 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2188561.
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