Self-assembling complex fluids are often modeled as particles with effective competing isotropic interactions, combining a short-range attraction (SA) followed by a longer-range repulsion (LR). For moderately low temperatures and densities, SALR particles form clusters in equilibrium, at least provided that the potential parameters are appropriate. Here we inquire into the possibility that cluster formation in SALR fluids might be pushed by a foreign species even under thermodynamic conditions that would not allow for clusterization of the pure system. To this aim, we study by Monte Carlo simulations a mixture of hard-sphere two-Yukawa particles and hard spheres, with a cross interaction modeled by a square-well attraction, and we investigate the conditions of clustering in terms of strength of attraction and relative concentration of the two species. We find that clusters can occur in the mixture for the same temperature and density where the pure SALR fluid is almost structureless. In particular, we single out a cross attraction such that clusters are formed with a SALR concentration as low as 5%. We also find a situation where nearly pure droplets of hard spheres are held together by a shell of SALR particles. Conversely, we show that clustering can be undermined in the mixture under conditions for which this process takes place in the parent SALR fluid. Using a simple criterion, based on the second virial coefficients of the attractive part of interaction potentials (the so-called “reference attractive fluids”), we are able to predict accurately whether clustering is favored (or hindered) in the mixture, as compared to the pure SALR fluid.

Clustering in Mixtures of SALR Particles and Hard Spheres with Cross Attraction

Munaò, Gianmarco
Primo
;
Prestipino, Santi
Secondo
;
Costa, Dino
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Self-assembling complex fluids are often modeled as particles with effective competing isotropic interactions, combining a short-range attraction (SA) followed by a longer-range repulsion (LR). For moderately low temperatures and densities, SALR particles form clusters in equilibrium, at least provided that the potential parameters are appropriate. Here we inquire into the possibility that cluster formation in SALR fluids might be pushed by a foreign species even under thermodynamic conditions that would not allow for clusterization of the pure system. To this aim, we study by Monte Carlo simulations a mixture of hard-sphere two-Yukawa particles and hard spheres, with a cross interaction modeled by a square-well attraction, and we investigate the conditions of clustering in terms of strength of attraction and relative concentration of the two species. We find that clusters can occur in the mixture for the same temperature and density where the pure SALR fluid is almost structureless. In particular, we single out a cross attraction such that clusters are formed with a SALR concentration as low as 5%. We also find a situation where nearly pure droplets of hard spheres are held together by a shell of SALR particles. Conversely, we show that clustering can be undermined in the mixture under conditions for which this process takes place in the parent SALR fluid. Using a simple criterion, based on the second virial coefficients of the attractive part of interaction potentials (the so-called “reference attractive fluids”), we are able to predict accurately whether clustering is favored (or hindered) in the mixture, as compared to the pure SALR fluid.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3226898
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