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Phase behaviour of charged colloidal sphere dispersions with added polymer chains

Fortini, A, Dijkstra, M and Tuinier, R (2005) Phase behaviour of charged colloidal sphere dispersions with added polymer chains

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We study the stability of mixtures of highly screened repulsive charged spheres and non-adsorbing ideal polymer chains in a common solvent using free volume theory. The effective interaction between charged colloids in an aqueous salt solution is described by a screened-Coulomb pair potential, which supplements the pure hard-sphere interaction. The ideal polymer chains are treated as spheres that are excluded from the colloids by a hard-core interaction, whereas the interaction between two ideal chains is set to zero. In addition, we investigate the phase behaviour of charged colloid-polymer mixtures in computer simulations, using the two-body (Asakura-Oosawa pair potential) approximation to the effective one-component Hamiltonian of the charged colloids. Both our results obtained from simulations and from free volume theory show similar trends. We find that the screened-Coulomb repulsion counteracts the effect of the effective polymer-mediated attraction. For mixtures of small polymers and relatively large charged colloidal spheres, the fluid-crystal transition shifts to significantly larger polymer concentrations with increasing range of the screened-Coulomb repulsion. For relatively large polymers, the effect of the screened-Coulomb repulsion is weaker. The resulting fluid-fluid binodal is only slightly shifted towards larger polymer concentrations upon increasing the range of the screened-Coulomb repulsion. In conclusion, our results show that the miscibility of dispersions containing charged colloids and neutral non-adsorbing polymers increases, upon increasing the range of the screened-Coulomb repulsion, or upon lowering the salt concentration, especially when the polymers are small compared to the colloids.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Dijkstra, M
Tuinier, R
Date : 30 September 2005
DOI : 10.1088/0953-8984/17/50/002
Uncontrolled Keywords : cond-mat.soft, cond-mat.soft
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 13:16
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 23:43

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