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Isotropic-nematic spinodals of rigid long thin rodlike colloids by event-driven Brownian dynamics simulations

American Institute of Physics
Publication Date
  • Computer Science


The isotropic-nematic spinodals of solutions of rigid spherocylindrical colloids with various shape anisotropies L/D in a wide range from 10 to 60 are investigated by means of Brownian dynamics simulations. To make these simulations feasible, we developed a new event-driven algorithm that takes the excluded volume interactions between particles into account as instantaneous collisions, but neglects the hydrodynamic interactions. This algorithm is applied to dense systems of highly elongated rods and proves to be efficient. The calculated isotropic-nematic spinodals lie between the previously established binodals in the phase diagram and extrapolate for infinitely long rods to Onsager's [Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 51, 627 (1949)] theoretical predictions. Moreover, we investigate the shear induced shifts of the spinodals, qualitatively confirming the theoretical prediction of the critical shear rate at which the two spinodals merge and the isotropic-nematic phase transition ceases to exist.

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