In a binary mixture, stripes refer to a one-dimensional periodicity of the composition, namely, a regular alternation of layers filled with particles of mostly one species. We have recently introduced [Munaò et al., Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 25, 16227 (2023)] a model that possibly provides the simplest binary mixture endowed with stripe order. The model consists of two species of identical hard spheres with equal concentration, which mutually interact through a square-well potential. In that paper, we have numerically shown that stripes are present in both liquid and solid phases when the attraction range is rather long. Here, we study the phase behavior of the model in terms of a density functional theory capable to account for the existence of stripes in the dense mixture. Our theory is accurate in reproducing the phases of the model, at least insofar as the composition inhomogeneities occur on length scales quite larger than the particle size. Then, using Monte Carlo simulations, we prove the existence of solid stripes even when the square well is much thinner than the particle diameter, making our model more similar to a real colloidal mixture. Finally, when the width of the attractive well is equal to the particle diameter, we observe a different and more complex form of compositional order in the solid, where each species of particle forms a regular porous matrix holding in its holes the other species, witnessing a surprising variety of emergent behaviors for a very basic model of interaction.

A density functional theory and simulation study of stripe phases in symmetric colloidal mixtures

Prestipino S.;Costa D.;Malescio G.;Munao' G.
2023-01-01

Abstract

In a binary mixture, stripes refer to a one-dimensional periodicity of the composition, namely, a regular alternation of layers filled with particles of mostly one species. We have recently introduced [Munaò et al., Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 25, 16227 (2023)] a model that possibly provides the simplest binary mixture endowed with stripe order. The model consists of two species of identical hard spheres with equal concentration, which mutually interact through a square-well potential. In that paper, we have numerically shown that stripes are present in both liquid and solid phases when the attraction range is rather long. Here, we study the phase behavior of the model in terms of a density functional theory capable to account for the existence of stripes in the dense mixture. Our theory is accurate in reproducing the phases of the model, at least insofar as the composition inhomogeneities occur on length scales quite larger than the particle size. Then, using Monte Carlo simulations, we prove the existence of solid stripes even when the square well is much thinner than the particle diameter, making our model more similar to a real colloidal mixture. Finally, when the width of the attractive well is equal to the particle diameter, we observe a different and more complex form of compositional order in the solid, where each species of particle forms a regular porous matrix holding in its holes the other species, witnessing a surprising variety of emergent behaviors for a very basic model of interaction.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3284691
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