The role of particle size and shape in highly size-asymmetric mixtures

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

The role of particle size and shape in highly size-asymmetric mixtures

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 6th June 2011
  • Speaker: Douglas Ashton (University of Bath)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

It has long been known that entropy alone can be powerful enough to drive a phase transition. A binary mixture of differently sized hard spheres can exhibit many complicated crystalline phases. At large size ratios the small particles can essentially be used to tune the interaction between large particles. This is exploited to great effect in the control of colloidal dispersions and in some cases can drive fluid-fluid separation. Numerically, large size ratios are very difficult to deal with due to the small particles effectively jamming in the larger ones. Through the application of specialised Monte Carlo algorithms we have been able to circumvent the principal bottle neck allowing us to calculate effective potentials and even full phase behaviour for a range of model systems. The same techniques have also allowed us to explore the effect of particle shape. In particular I will show preliminary results for a lock-and-key system that is a model for protein binding that exhibits depletion driven self assembly.

About Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

Find out more about Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars.