Phase behavior and particle size cutoff effects in polydisperse fluids

Nigel B. Wilding*, Peter Sollich, Moreno Fasolo, Matteo Buzzacchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


We report a joint simulation and theoretical study of the liquid-vapor phase behavior of a fluid in which polydispersity in the particle size couples to the strength of the interparticle interactions. Attention is focused on the case in which the particle diameters are distributed according to a fixed Schulz form with degree of polydispersity δ=14%. The coexistence properties of this model are studied using grand canonical ensemble Monte Carlo simulations and moment free energy calculations. We obtain the cloud and shadow curves as well as the daughter phase density distributions and fractional volumes along selected isothermal dilution lines. In contrast to the case of size-independent interaction [N. B. Wilding et al., J. Chem. Phys. 121, 6887 (2004)], the cloud and shadow curves are found to be well separated, with the critical point lying significantly below the cloud curve maximum. For densities below the critical value, we observe that the phase behavior is highly sensitive to the choice of upper cutoff on the particle size distribution. We elucidate the origins of this effect in terms of extremely pronounced fractionation effects and discuss the likely appearance of new phases in the limit of very large values of the cutoff.

Original languageEnglish
Article number014908
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2006


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