Reversible-growth model: Cluster-cluster aggregation with finite binding energies

Wan Y. Shih, Ilhan A. Aksay, Ryoichi Kikuchi

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112 Scopus citations


A reversible-growth model is built by modifying the cluster-cluster aggregation model with a finite interparticle attraction energy -E. When E is , the aggregation is described by the ordinary cluster-cluster aggregation model. Within our model, particles as well as clusters are performing Brownian motion according to the rate 1/D, and the unbinding takes place according to (1/R)e-E/T, where E is the energy change due to the unbinding, T is the room temperature, and R is the time constant associated with the unbinding. The Boltzmann constant is taken to be unity. By changing E and R/D, we are able to change the aggregation behavior over a wide range from ramified clusters to compact ones. Moreover, due to a finite E, ramified aggregates may become compact at a later time. We show that the initially fractal aggregates can remain fractal objects during restructuring while the fractal dimension D increases with time. At large E, D can stay at some value that is larger than the value of the cluster-cluster aggregation model and can remain unchanged for a long time. At a given time, D increases drastically with decreasing E from the value of the cluster-cluster aggregation model when E3T. The curve of the estimated sedimentation density versus E resembles that of D versus E and agrees with the experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5015-5019
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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