Copyright 2011 American Physical Society

Published in Physical Review E, Vol. 84 No. 1, Article 011305 (July 2011) at 10.1103/PhysRevE.84.011305


We perform extensive computational studies of two-dimensional static bidisperse disk packings using two distinct packing-generation protocols. The first involves thermally quenching equilibrated liquid configurations to zero temperature over a range of thermal quench rates r and initial packing fractions followed by compression and decompression in small steps to reach packing fractions phi(J) at jamming onset. For the second, we seed the system with initial configurations that promote micro-and macrophase-separated packings followed by compression and decompression to phi(J). Using these protocols, we generate more than 10(4) static packings over a wide range of packing fraction, contact number, and compositional and positional order. We find that disordered, isostatic packings exist over a finite range of packing fractions in the large-system limit. In agreement with previous calculations, the most dilute mechanically stable packings with phi(min) approximate to 0.84 are obtained for r > r*, where r* is the rate above which phi(J) is insensitive to rate. We further compare the structural and mechanical properties of isostatic versus hyperstatic packings. The structural characterizations include the contact number, several order parameters, and mixing ratios of the large and small particles. We find that the isostatic packings are positionally and compositionally disordered (with only small changes in a number of order parameters), whereas bond-orientational and compositional order increase strongly with contact number for hyperstatic packings. In addition, we calculate the static shear modulus and normal mode frequencies (in the harmonic approximation) of the static packings to understand the extent to which the mechanical properties of disordered, isostatic packings differ from partially ordered packings. We find that the mechanical properties of the packings change continuously as the contact number increases from isostatic to hyperstatic.