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. 2017 Aug 7;147(5):054904.
doi: 10.1063/1.4996739.

Lattice Animals in Diffusion Limited Binary Colloidal System


Lattice Animals in Diffusion Limited Binary Colloidal System

Zakiya Shireen et al. J Chem Phys. .


In a soft matter system, controlling the structure of the amorphous materials has been a key challenge. In this work, we have modeled irreversible diffusion limited cluster aggregation of binary colloids, which serves as a model for chemical gels. Irreversible aggregation of binary colloidal particles leads to the formation of a percolating cluster of one species or both species which are also called bigels. Before the formation of the percolating cluster, the system forms a self-similar structure defined by a fractal dimension. For a one component system when the volume fraction is very small, the clusters are far apart from each other and the system has a fractal dimension of 1.8. Contrary to this, we will show that for the binary system, we observe the presence of lattice animals which has a fractal dimension of 2 irrespective of the volume fraction. When the clusters start inter-penetrating, we observe a fractal dimension of 2.5, which is the same as in the case of the one component system. We were also able to predict the formation of bigels using a simple inequality relation. We have also shown that the growth of clusters follows the kinetic equations introduced by Smoluchowski for diffusion limited cluster aggregation. We will also show that the chemical distance of a cluster in the flocculation regime will follow the same scaling law as predicted for the lattice animals. Further, we will also show that irreversible binary aggregation comes under the universality class of the percolation theory.

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