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J Chem Phys. 2012 Mar 7;136(9):094512. doi: 10.1063/1.3689308.

Fluid-fluid and fluid-solid transitions in the Kern-Frenkel model from Barker-Henderson thermodynamic perturbation theory.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPIDS), 37077 Göttingen, Germany.


We study the Kern-Frenkel model for patchy colloids using Barker-Henderson second-order thermodynamic perturbation theory. The model describes a fluid where hard sphere particles are decorated with one patch, so that they interact via a square-well potential if they are sufficiently close one another, and if patches on each particle are properly aligned. Both the gas-liquid and fluid-solid phase coexistences are computed and contrasted against corresponding Monte Carlo simulations results. We find that the perturbation theory describes rather accurately numerical simulations all the way from a fully covered square-well potential down to the Janus limit (half coverage). In the region where numerical data are not available (from Janus to hard-spheres), the method provides estimates of the location of the critical lines that could serve as a guideline for further efficient numerical work at these low coverages. A comparison with other techniques, such as integral equation theory, highlights the important aspect of this methodology in the present context.

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