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Title: Grafted nanoparticles as soft patchy colloids: Self-assembly versus phase separation

We investigate the thermodynamic behavior of a model polymer-grafted nanoparticle (GNP) system on a fine lattice, using grand canonical Monte Carlo simulations, to compare and contrast the validity of two different models for GNPs: “nanoparticle amphiphiles” versus “patchy particles.” In the former model, continuous self-assembly processes are expected to dominate the system, whereas the latter are characterized by first-order phase separation into novel equilibrium phases such as “empty liquids.” We find that, in general, considering GNPs as amphiphiles within the framework of a recent mean-field theory [Pryamtisyn et al., J. Chem. Phys. 131, 221102 (2009)] provides a qualitatively accurate description of the thermodynamics of GNP systems, revealing either first-order phase separation into two isotropic phases or continuous self-assembly. Our model GNPs display no signs of empty liquid formation, suggesting that these nanoparticles do not provide a route to such phases.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22416157
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 142; Journal Issue: 7; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; COLLOIDS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; EQUILIBRIUM; GRAFTS; LIQUIDS; MEAN-FIELD THEORY; MONTE CARLO METHOD; NANOPARTICLES; POLYMERS; THERMODYNAMICS