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The phase behavior of linear and partially flexible hard-sphere chain fluids and the solubility of hard spheres in hard-sphere chain fluids

Oyarzún, B.; van Westen, T.; Vlugt, T.J.H.

Journal of Chemical Physics 138(20): 204905

2013

The liquid crystal phase behavior of linear and partially flexible hard-sphere chain fluids and the solubility of hard spheres in hard-sphere chain fluids are studied by constant pressure Monte Carlo simulations. An extensive study on the phase behavior of linear fluids with a length of 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 20 beads is carried out. The phase behavior of partially flexible fluids with a total length of 8, 10, 14, and 15 beads and with different lengths for the linear part is also determined. A precise description of the reduced pressure and of the packing fraction change at the isotropic-nematic coexistence was achieved by performing long simulation runs. For linear fluids, a maximum in the isotropic to nematic packing fraction change is observed for a chain length of 15 beads. The infinite dilution solubility of hard spheres in linear and partially flexible hard-sphere chain fluids is calculated by the Widom test-particle insertion method. To identify the effect of chain connectivity and molecular anisotropy on free volume, solubility is expressed relative to that of hard spheres in a hard sphere fluid at same packing fraction as relative Henry's law constants. A linear relationship between relative Henry's law constants and packing fraction is observed for all linear fluids. Furthermore, this linearity is independent of liquid crystal ordering and seems to be independent of chain length for linear chains of 10 beads and longer. The same linear relationship was observed for the solubility of hard spheres in nematic forming partially flexible fluids for packing fractions up to a value slightly higher than the nematic packing fraction at the isotropic-nematic coexistence. At higher packing fractions, the small flexibility of these fluids seems to improve solubility in comparison with the linear fluids.

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