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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2008 Apr;77(4 Pt 1):040401. Epub 2008 Apr 14.

Diffusion of colloidal fluids in random porous media.

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Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, Venustiano Carranza S/N, 31000 Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico.


The diffusive relaxation of a colloidal fluid adsorbed in a porous medium depends on many factors, including the concentration and composition of the adsorbed colloidal fluid, the average structure of the porous matrix, and the nature of the colloid-colloid and colloid-substrate interactions. A simple manner to describe these effects is to model the porous medium as a set of spherical particles fixed in space at random positions with prescribed statistical structural properties. Within this model one may describe the relaxation of concentration fluctuations of the adsorbed fluid by simply setting to zero the short-time mobility of one species (the porous matrix) in a theory of the dynamics of equilibrium colloidal mixtures, or by extending such dynamic theory to explicitly consider the porous matrix as a random external field, as recently done in the framework of mode coupling theory [V. Krakoviack, Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 065703 (2005)]. Here we consider the first approach and employ the self-consistent generalized Langevin equation (SCGLE) theory of the dynamics of equilibrium colloidal mixtures, to describe the dynamics of the mobile component. We focus on the short- and intermediate-time regimes, which we compare with Brownian dynamics simulations involving a binary mixture with screened Coulomb interactions for two models of the average static structure of the matrix: a porous matrix constructed by quenching configurations of an equilibrium mixture in which both species were first equilibrated together, and a preexisting matrix with prescribed average structure, in which we later add the mobile species. We conclude that in both cases, if the correct static structure factors are provided as input, the SCGLE theory correctly predicts the main features of the dynamics of the permeating fluid.


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