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Phys Rev E 2021 Dec;104(6-1):064606

Departamento de Ingeniería Física, División de Ciencias e Ingenierías, Campus León, Universidad de Guanajuato, 37150 León, Guanajuato, Mexico.

During the past decade, there has been a hot debate about the physical mechanisms that determine when a colloidal dispersion approaches the gel transition. However, there is still no consensus on a possible unique route that leads to the conditions for the formation of a gel-like state. Based on gel states identified in experiments, Valadez-Pérez et al. [Phys. Rev. E 88, 060302(R) (2013)PLEEE81539-375510.1103/PhysRevE.88.060302] proposed rigidity percolation as the precursor of colloidal gelation in adhesive hard-sphere dispersions with coordination number 〈n_{b}〉 equal to 2.4. Although this criterion was originally established to describe mechanical transitions in network-forming molecular materials with highly directional interactions, it worked well to explain gel formation in colloidal suspensions with isotropic short-range attractive forces. Recently, this idea has also been used to account for the dynamical arrest experimentally observed in attractive spherocylinders. Then, by assuming that rigidity percolation also drives gelation in spherical colloids interacting with short-ranged and highly directional potentials, we locate the thermodynamic states where gelation seems to occur in dispersions made up of patchy colloids. To check whether the criterion 〈n_{b}〉=2.4 also holds in patchy colloidal systems, we apply the so-called bond-bending analysis to determine the fraction of floppy modes at some percolating clusters. This analysis confirms that the condition 〈n_{b}〉=2.4 is a good approximation to determine those percolating clusters that are either mechanically stable or rigid. Furthermore, our results point out that not all combinations of patches and coverages lead to a gel-like state. Additionally, we systematically study the structure and the cluster size distribution along those thermodynamic states identified as gels. We show that for high coverage values, the structure is very similar for systems that have the same coverage regardless the number or the position of the patches on the particle surface. Finally, by using dynamic Monte Carlo computer simulations, we calculate both the mean-square displacement and the intermediate scattering function at and in the neighborhood of the gel-like states.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.104.064606 | DOI Listing |

December 2021

J Phys Condens Matter 2022 Jan 13. Epub 2022 Jan 13.

Science and Engineering Division, University of Guanajuato - Leon Campus, Loma del Bosque 103, Leon de los Aldama, Guanajuato, 37150, MEXICO.

Competing interaction fluids have become ideal model systems to study a large number of phenomena, for example, the formation of intermediate range order structures, condensed phases not seen in fluids driven by purely attractive or repulsive forces, the onset of particle aggregation under in- and out-of-equilibrium conditions, which results in the birth of reversible and irreversible aggregates or clusters whose topology and morphology depend additionally on the thermodynamic constrictions, and a particle dynamics that has a strong influence on the transport behaviour and rheological properties of the fluid. In this contribution, we study a system of particles interacting through a potential composed by a continuous succession of a short-ranged square-well, an intermediate-ranged square-shoulder and a long-ranged square-well. This potential model is chosen to systematically analyse the contribution of every component of the interaction potential on the phase behaviour, the microstructure, the morphology of the resulting aggregates and the transport phenomena of fluids described by competing interactions. Our results indicate that the inclusion of a barrier and a second well leads to new and interesting effects, which in addition result in variations of the physical properties associated to the competition among interactions.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-648X/ac4b29 | DOI Listing |

January 2022

J Chem Phys 2021 Feb;154(8):084902

Departamento de Ingeniería Física, División de Ciencias e Ingenierías, Campus León, Universidad de Guanajuato, Loma del Bosque 103, Lomas del Campestre, 37150 León, Guanajuato, Mexico.

In this work, a new parameterization for the Statistical Association Fluid Theory for potentials of Variable Range (SAFT-VR) is coupled to the discrete potential theory to represent the thermodynamic properties of several fluids, ranging from molecular liquids to colloidal-like dispersions. In this way, this version of the SAFT-VR approach can be straightforwardly applied to any kind of either simple or complex fluid. In particular, two interaction potentials, namely, the Lennard-Jones and the hard-core attractive Yukawa potentials, are discretized to study the vapor-liquid equilibrium properties of both molecular and complex liquids, respectively. Our results are assessed with Monte Carlo computer simulations and available and accurate theoretical results based on the self-consistent Ornstein-Zernike approximation.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/5.0037630 | DOI Listing |

February 2021

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