Topology Restricts Quasidegeneracy in Sheared Square Colloidal Ice.

Physical review letters (2020-07-01)
Erdal C Oğuz, Antonio Ortiz-Ambriz, Hadas Shem-Tov, Eric Babià-Soler, Pietro Tierno, Yair Shokef

Recovery of ground-state degeneracy in two-dimensional square ice is a significant challenge in the field of geometric frustration with far-reaching fundamental implications, such as realization of vertex models and understanding the effect of dimensionality reduction. We combine experiments, theory, and numerical simulations to demonstrate that sheared square colloidal ice partially recovers the ground-state degeneracy for a wide range of field strengths and lattice shear angles. Our method could inspire engineering a novel class of frustrated microstructures and nanostructures based on sheared magnetic lattices in a wide range of soft- and condensed-matter systems.

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Micro particles based on polystyrene, magnetic, 10 μm particle size, std dev <0.5 μm