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Colloids dispersed in polymer solutions. A computer simulation study

By E.J. Meijer and D. Frenkel


We report a computer-simulation study of a simple model for a colloid dispersed in a polymer solution. The simulations were performed using a computational scheme that allows simulation at constant osmotic pressure of the polymers. We present results for the polymer-induced interaction, the equation-of-state, and the phase diagram. The simulations show that when the radius of gyration of the polymers Rg is sufficiently large compared to the diameter of the colloidal particles col (2Rg/col0.45), addition of polymer induces a colloidal ``liquid–vapor'' phase separation. For shorter polymers, only the solid–fluid transition is observed. In addition, we find that the nonpairwise additivity of the polymer-induced attraction between the colloidal particles has a pronounced effect on the equation-of-state and the phase behavior of a colloid–polymer mixture. The perturbation theory of Lekkerkerker et al. [Europhys. Lett. 20, 559 (1992)] is found to perform well, except at low densities

Topics: Scheikunde
Year: 1994
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