We perform hybrid molecular dynamics simulations to study the flow behavior of rigid colloids dispersed in a dilute polymer solution. The underlying Newtonian solvent and the ensuing hydrodynamic interactions are incorporated through multiparticle collision dynamics, while the constituent polymers are modeled as bead-spring chains, maintaining a description consistent with the colloidal nature of our system. We study the cross-stream migration of the solute particles in slit-like channels for various polymer lengths and colloid sizes and find a distinct focusing onto the channel center under specific solvent and flow conditions. To better understand this phenomenon, we systematically measure the effective forces exerted on the colloids. We find that the migration originates from a competition between viscoelastic forces from the polymer solution and hydrodynamically induced inertial forces. Our simulations reveal a significantly stronger fluctuation of the lateral colloid position than expected from thermal motion alone, which originates from the complex interplay between the colloid and polymer chains.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry