Critical point of electrolyte mixtures

Antti Pekka Hynninen, Marjolein Dijkstra, Athanassios Z. Panagiotopoulos

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28 Scopus citations


The critical behavior of electrolyte mixtures was studied using grand canonical Monte Carlo simulations. Mixtures consist of large multivalent macroions and small monovalent co- and counterions. The system can be viewed as a binary mixture of macroions (with their counterions) and salt (co- and counterion pair). The primitive model description was used, in which the ions are point charges with a hard core and the solvent is treated as a uniform dielectric continuum. The grand canonical simulations are based on insertions and removals of neutral molecules: macroion with its counterions or coions and a counterion. We propose a distance biasing method that enables direct grand canonical simulations up to charge asymmetry of 10:1. We calculated the critical loci that connect the salt-free state, which consists of only macroions and counterions, with the pure salt state using mixed-field finite-size scaling with no pressure mixing. The critical parameters are determined for macroion to counterion charge asymmetries of 2:1, 3:1, and 10:1. Our results suggest that binary electrolyte mixtures are type-I mixtures, where the two components mix continuously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number084903
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 22 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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