Phase diagrams of charged colloids from thermodynamic integration

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We present full phase diagrams (including solid phases) of spherical charged colloids, using MonteCarlo sampling and thermodynamic integration of the Helmholtz free energy. Colloids and their co-and counterions are described by the primitive model for ionic systems that consists of hard-spheres with central point charges, while the solvent is taken into account solely through its dielectric constant. Two systems are considered: (i)a size-asymmetric system of oppositely charged spheres with size ratios q = 0.3 and 0.5 and (ii)a charge-and size-asymmetric system with colloid charge Q = 10 and counterions of charge -1 in the presence of monovalent added salt. In system(i), for both size ratios, the stable solid phase is equivalent to the NaCl crystal where the oppositely charged spheres take the lattice positions of Na and Cl ions. In system(ii), the phase diagram consists of gas-liquid and fluid-solid coexistence regions. We show that added salt stabilizes the fluid phase and shrinks the fluid-solid coexistence region, in agreement with experimental and theoretical results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number465104
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number46
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Materials Science


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