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, 120 (4), 1973-80

Interfacial Tension and Wetting in Colloid-Polymer Mixtures

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Interfacial Tension and Wetting in Colloid-Polymer Mixtures

D G A L Aarts et al. J Chem Phys.

Abstract

We calculate the interfacial tension and the wetting behavior in phase separated colloid-polymer mixtures both for ideal and excluded volume interacting polymers. Within the recently developed extension of the free volume theory to include polymer interactions the interfacial tension of the free interface is calculated by adding a van der Waals squared gradient term. The wetting behavior at a hard wall is calculated following a Cahn-Fisher-Nakanishi approach taking the one- and two-body colloid-wall interactions into account. Comparing results for interacting polymers with those for ideal polymers we find that for interacting polymers the interfacial tension does not increase as steeply as a function of the gas-liquid colloid density difference. Furthermore, the wetting transition shifts to higher polymer concentrations, even to above the triple line. The predictions for both the interfacial tension and the wetting are compared to recent experiments.

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