12,135 research outputs found

### Wetting and Capillary Condensation in Symmetric Polymer Blends: A comparison between Monte Carlo Simulations and Self-Consistent Field Calculations

We present a quantitative comparison between extensive Monte Carlo
simulations and self-consistent field calculations on the phase diagram and
wetting behavior of a symmetric, binary (AB) polymer blend confined into a
film. The flat walls attract one component via a short range interaction. The
critical point of the confined blend is shifted to lower temperatures and
higher concentrations of the component with the lower surface free energy. The
binodals close the the critical point are flattened compared to the bulk and
exhibit a convex curvature at intermediate temperatures -- a signature of the
wetting transition in the semi-infinite system. Investigating the spectrum of
capillary fluctuation of the interface bound to the wall, we find evidence for
a position dependence of the interfacial tension. This goes along with a
distortion of the interfacial profile from its bulk shape. Using an extended
ensemble in which the monomer-wall interaction is a stochastic variable, we
accurately measure the difference between the surface energies of the
components, and determine the location of the wetting transition via the Young
equation. The Flory-Huggins parameter at which the strong first order wetting
transition occurs is independent of chain length and grows quadratically with
the integrated wall-monomer interaction strength. We estimate the location of
the prewetting line. The prewetting manifests itself in a triple point in the
phase diagram of very thick films and causes spinodal dewetting of ultrathin
layers slightly above the wetting transition. We investigate the early stage of
dewetting via dynamic Monte Carlo simulations.Comment: to appear in Macromolecule

### Finite size effects on the phase diagram of a binary mixture confined between competing walls

A symmetrical binary mixture AB that exhibits a critical temperature T_{cb}
of phase separation into an A-rich and a B-rich phase in the bulk is considered
in a geometry confined between two parallel plates a distance D apart. It is
assumed that one wall preferentially attracts A while the other wall
preferentially attracts B with the same strength (''competing walls''). In the
limit $D\to \infty$, one then may have a wetting transition of first order at a
temperature T_{w}, from which prewetting lines extend into the one phase region
both of the A-rich and the B-rich phase. It is discussed how this phase diagram
gets distorted due to the finiteness of D% : the phase transition at T_{cb}
immediately disappears for D<\infty due to finite size rounding, and the phase
diagram instead exhibit two two-phase coexistence regions in a temperature
range T_{trip}<T<T_{c1}=T_{c2}. In the limit D\to \infty T_{c1},T_{c2} become
the prewetting critical points and T_{trip}\to T_{w}.
For small enough D it may occur that at a tricritical value D_{t} the
temperatures T_{c1}=T_{c2} and T_{trip} merge, and then for D<D_{t} there is a
single unmixing critical point as in the bulk but with T_{c}(D) near T_{w}. As
an example, for the experimentally relevant case of a polymer mixture a phase
diagram with two unmixing critical points is calculated explicitly from
self-consistent field methods

### Large-Scale Simulations of the Two-Dimensional Melting of Hard Disks

Large-scale computer simulations involving more than a million particles have
been performed to study the melting transition in a two-dimensional hard disk
fluid. The van der Waals loop previously observed in the pressure-density
relationship of smaller simulations is shown to be an artifact of finite-size
effects. Together with a detailed scaling analysis of the bond orientation
order, the new results provide compelling evidence for the
Halperin-Nelson-Young picture. Scaling analysis of the translational order also
yields a lower bound for the melting density that is much higher than
previously thought.Comment: 4 pages, 4 figure

### Kinetics of Phase Separation in Thin Films: Simulations for the Diffusive Case

We study the diffusion-driven kinetics of phase separation of a symmetric
binary mixture (AB), confined in a thin-film geometry between two parallel
walls. We consider cases where (a) both walls preferentially attract the same
component (A), and (b) one wall attracts A and the other wall attracts B (with
the same strength). We focus on the interplay of phase separation and wetting
at the walls, which is referred to as {\it surface-directed spinodal
decomposition} (SDSD). The formation of SDSD waves at the two surfaces, with
wave-vectors oriented perpendicular to them, often results in a metastable
layered state (also referred to as ``stratified morphology''). This state is
reminiscent of the situation where the thin film is still in the one-phase
region but the surfaces are completely wet, and hence coated with thick wetting
layers. This metastable state decays by spinodal fluctuations and crosses over
to an asymptotic growth regime characterized by the lateral coarsening of
pancake-like domains. These pancakes may or may not be coated by precursors of
wetting layers. We use Langevin simulations to study this crossover and the
growth kinetics in the asymptotic coarsening regime.Comment: 39 pages, 19 figures, submitted to Phys.Rev.

### A New Monte Carlo Method and Its Implications for Generalized Cluster Algorithms

We describe a novel switching algorithm based on a ``reverse'' Monte Carlo
method, in which the potential is stochastically modified before the system
configuration is moved. This new algorithm facilitates a generalized
formulation of cluster-type Monte Carlo methods, and the generalization makes
it possible to derive cluster algorithms for systems with both discrete and
continuous degrees of freedom. The roughening transition in the sine-Gordon
model has been studied with this method, and high-accuracy simulations for
system sizes up to $1024^2$ were carried out to examine the logarithmic
divergence of the surface roughness above the transition temperature, revealing
clear evidence for universal scaling of the Kosterlitz-Thouless type.Comment: 4 pages, 2 figures. Phys. Rev. Lett. (in press

### Far-from-equilibrium growth of thin films in a temperature gradient

The irreversible growth of thin films under far-from-equilibrium conditions
is studied in $(2+1)-$dimensional strip geometries. Across one of the
transverse directions, a temperature gradient is applied by thermal baths at
fixed temperatures between $T_1$ and $T_2$, where $T_1<T_c^{hom}<T_2$ and
$T_c^{hom}=0.69(1)$ is the critical temperature of the system in contact with
an homogeneous thermal bath. By using standard finite-size scaling methods, we
characterized a continuous order-disorder phase transition driven by the
thermal bath gradient with critical temperature $T_c=0.84(2)$ and critical
exponents $\nu=1.53(6)$, $\gamma=2.54(11)$, and $\beta=0.26(8)$, which belong
to a different universality class from that of films grown in an homogeneous
bath. Furthermore, the effects of the temperature gradient are analyzed by
means of a bond model that captures the growth dynamics. The interplay of
geometry and thermal bath asymmetries leads to growth bond flux asymmetries and
the onset of transverse ordering effects that explain qualitatively the shift
in the critical temperature.Comment: 4 pages, 4 figures. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with
arXiv:1207.253

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