We present a numerical study of colloidal crystal growth on finite templates. Specifically, we consider planar, crystalline templates with the structure of the 100, 110, and 100 faces of a fcc crystal. We explore how the size of the induced crystallites depends on template area, lattice spacing and degree of supersaturation. We find that thermal fluctuations of the templating particles around their average positions have a strong effect on the size of the crystallites that grow epitaxially. If the fluctuations exceed the Lindemann criterion, the templates cease to function as a crystallization seed. We find that our numerical results are well described by a suitably modified version of classical nucleation theory.

Phys. Rev. E

Cacciuto, A., & Frenkel, D. (2005). Simulation of colloidal crystallization on finite structured templates. Phys. Rev. E, 72(Article number: 41604), 1–7. doi:10.1103/physreve.72.041604