We simulate structural phase behavior of polymer-grafted colloidal particles by molecular Monte Carlo technique. The interparticle potential, which has a finite repulsive square-step outside a rigid core of the colloid, was previously confirmed via numerical self-consistent field calculation. This model potential is purely repulsive. We simulate these model colloids in the canonical ensemble in two and three dimensions and find that these particles containing no interparticle attraction self-assemble and align in a string-like assembly, at low temperature and high density. This string-like colloidal assembly is related to percolation phenomena. Analyzing the cluster size distribution and the average string length, we build phase diagrams and discover that the average string length diverges around the region where the melting transition line and the percolation transition line cross. This result is similar to Ising spin systems, in which the percolation transition line and the order-disorder line meet at a critical point.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry