Sticky Matters: Jamming and Rigid Cluster Statistics with Attractive Particle Interactions

Dion J. Koeze, Brian P. Tighe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
66 Downloads (Pure)


While the large majority of theoretical and numerical studies of the jamming transition consider athermal packings of purely repulsive spheres, real complex fluids and soft solids generically display attraction between particles. By studying the statistics of rigid clusters in simulations of soft particles with an attractive shell, we present evidence for two distinct jamming scenarios. Strongly attractive systems undergo a continuous transition in which rigid clusters grow and ultimately diverge in size at a critical packing fraction. Purely repulsive and weakly attractive systems jam via a first-order transition, with no growing cluster size. We further show that the weakly attractive scenario is a finite size effect, so that for any nonzero attraction strength, a sufficiently large system will fall in the strongly attractive universality class. We therefore expect attractive jamming to be generic in the laboratory and in nature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number188002
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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