12,135 research outputs found

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

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    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

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    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 DD\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

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    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

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    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

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    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 102421024^2 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

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    The irreversible growth of thin films under far-from-equilibrium conditions is studied in (2+1)(2+1)-dimensional strip geometries. Across one of the transverse directions, a temperature gradient is applied by thermal baths at fixed temperatures between T1T_1 and T2T_2, where T1<Tchom<T2T_1<T_c^{hom}<T_2 and Tchom=0.69(1)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 Tc=0.84(2)T_c=0.84(2) and critical exponents ν=1.53(6)\nu=1.53(6), γ=2.54(11)\gamma=2.54(11), and β=0.26(8)\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