Growth kinetics of colloidal chains and labyrinths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)
323 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Particles interacting by a combination of isotropic short-range attraction and long-range repulsion have been shown to form complex phases despite the apparent simplicity of the interparticle potential. Using computer simulations we study the behavior of two-dimensional systems of colloids with such an interaction, focusing on how area fraction and repulsion range at fixed repulsion gradient may be used to tune the resulting kinetics and nonequilibrium structure. While the short-range attraction leads to aggregation, the long-range repulsion encourages growth of chains of particles due to repulsive intercluster interactions. Depending on area fraction/ repulsion range we observe chain labyrinths, chain-compact aggregate coexistence, and connected networks of chains. The kinetics of cluster growth displays a sequence of connected networks and disconnected cluster or chain systems with increasing repulsion range, indicating the competing roles of connectivity of growing chains and repulsion-driven breakup of chains into compact aggregates. Chain-dominated systems show approximately logarithmic coarsening at late time that we interpret as the result of chains performing random walks in the randomly fluctuating potential landscape created by their neighbors, a situation reminiscent of glassy systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number031402
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review E: Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Volume81
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

Keywords

  • growth kinetics
  • colloidal chains
  • labyrinths
22 Downloads (Pure)

Cite this