Amorphous and crystalline states of ultrasoft colloids: A molecular dynamics study

Anastassia N. Rissanou, Marianna Yiannourakou, Ioannis G. Economou, Ioannis A. Bitsanis

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this work, we study the temperature-induced development of "dynamically arrested" states in dense suspensions of "soft colloids" (multi-arm star polymers and/or block-copolymers micelles) by means of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Temperature increase in marginal solvents results in "soft sphere" swelling, dynamical arrest, and eventually crystallization. However, two distinct "dynamically arrested" states were found, one almost amorphous ("glassy") and one with a considerable degree of crystallinity, yet lower than that of the fully equilibrated crystal. It is remarkable that even that latter state permitted self-diffusion in the timescale of the simulations, an effect that underlies the importance of the "ultra-soft" nature of inter-particle potential. The "number of connections" criterion for crystallinity proved to be very successful in identifying the ultimate thermodynamic trend from the very early stages of the α-relaxation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-764
Number of pages10
JournalRheologica Acta
Volume46
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007

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Keywords

  • Crystallization
  • Dynamically arrested states
  • Glass
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Soft colloids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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