Wednesday, June 26, 2013

1306.5831 (Néstor E. Valadez-Pérez et al.)

Towards a general definition of gelation for adhesive hard-sphere

Néstor E. Valadez-Pérez, Yun Liu, Aaron P. R. Eberle, Norman J. Wagner, Ramón Castañeda-Priego
One major goal in condensed matter physics is identifying the physical mechanisms that lead to arrested states of matter, especially gels and glasses. The complex nature and microscopic details of each particular system are relevant. However, from both scientific and technological viewpoints, a general, consistent and unified definition is of paramount importance. Through Monte Carlo computer simulations of states identified in experiments, we demonstrate that adhesive hard-sphere dispersions are the result of rigidity percolation with average number of bonds, $$, equals to 2.4. This corresponds to an established mechanism leading to phase transitions in network-forming materials. Our findings connect the concept of critical gel formation in colloidal suspensions with short-range attractive interactions to the universal concept of rigidity percolation. Furthermore, the bond, angular and local distributions along the gelation line are explicitly studied in order to determine the topology of the structure of the critical gel state.
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