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Out-of-equilibrium processes in suspensions of oppositely charged colloids: liquid-to-crystal nucleation and gel formation

Sanz, E, Valeriani, C, Vissers, T, Fortini, A, Leunissen, ME, Blaaderen, AV, Frenkel, D and Dijkstra, M (2009) Out-of-equilibrium processes in suspensions of oppositely charged colloids: liquid-to-crystal nucleation and gel formation J. Phys.: Condens. Matter, 20.

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Abstract

We study the kinetics of the liquid-to-crystal transformation and of gel formation in colloidal suspensions of oppositely charged particles. We analyse, by means of both computer simulations and experiments, the evolution of a fluid quenched to a state point of the phase diagram where the most stable state is either a homogeneous crystalline solid or a solid phase in contact with a dilute gas. On the one hand, at high temperatures and high packing fractions, close to an ordered-solid/disordered-solid coexistence line, we find that the fluid-to-crystal pathway does not follow the minimum free energy route. On the other hand, a quench to a state point far from the ordered-crystal/disordered-crystal coexistence border is followed by a fluid-to-solid transition through the minimum free energy pathway. At low temperatures and packing fractions we observe that the system undergoes a gas-liquid spinodal decomposition that, at some point, arrests giving rise to a gel-like structure. Both our simulations and experiments suggest that increasing the interaction range favors crystallization over vitrification in gel-like structures.

Item Type: Article
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Sanz, EUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Valeriani, CUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Vissers, TUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Fortini, Aa.fortini@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Leunissen, MEUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Blaaderen, AVUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Frenkel, DUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Dijkstra, MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 13 July 2009
Identification Number : https://doi.org/10.1088/0953-8984/20/49/494247
Uncontrolled Keywords : cond-mat.soft, cond-mat.soft
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 13:17
Last Modified : 17 May 2017 15:10
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/838601

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