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Fluid-fluid demixing curves for colloid-polymer mixtures in a random colloidal matrix

  • Annunziata, Mario Alberto
  • Pelissetto, Andrea
Publication Date
Sep 07, 2011
Submission Date
Sep 07, 2011
DOI: 10.1080/00268976.2011.622724
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We study fluid-fluid phase separation in a colloid-polymer mixture adsorbed in a colloidal porous matrix close to the \theta -point. For this purpose we consider the Asakura-Oosawa model in the presence of a quenched matrix of colloidal hard spheres. We study the dependence of the demixing curve on the parameters that characterize the quenched matrix, fixing the polymer-to-colloid size ratio to 0.8. We find that, to a large extent, demixing curves depend only on a single parameter f, which represents the volume fraction which is unavailable to the colloids. We perform Monte Carlo simulations for volume fractions f equal to 40% and 70%, finding that the binodal curves in the polymer and colloid packing-fraction plane have a small dependence on disorder. The critical point instead changes significantly: for instance, the colloid packing fraction at criticality increases with increasing f. Finally, we observe for some values of the parameters capillary condensation of the colloids: a bulk colloid-poor phase is in chemical equilibrium with a colloid-rich phase in the matrix.

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