Phase stability of colloidal spheres mixed with semiflexible supramolecular polymers

Vincent F.D. Peters, Remco Tuinier, Mark Vis (Corresponding author)

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Hypothesis: Mixtures of colloids and supramolecular polymers may exhibit stimuli-responsive phase behaviour. However, in theoretical descriptions of such systems, the polymers are commonly described either as flexible chains or as rigid rods, while in experimental systems supramolecular polymers usually fall in between these two limits. We expect the flexibility of the polymers to have a profound effect on the stimuli-responsive phase behaviour. Theory: We propose a general approach to predict the phase behaviour of colloidal hard spheres mixed with covalent or supramolecular polymers of arbitrary persistence length using free volume theory and an interpolation between flexible and rigid chains. Findings: The binodals are predicted to shift to lower monomer concentrations as the persistence length is increased, making the polymers more efficient depletants. The persistence length is therefore an additional degree of freedom for manipulating the phase behaviour of colloid–polymer mixtures. We show that by manipulating the persistence length of temperature responsive supramolecular polymers, a wide range of phase diagrams with various topologies can be obtained. For example, we find phase diagrams with a critical point but no triple point or displaying two triple points for temperature-sensitive supramolecular polymers mixed with hard spheres.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)644-651
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume608
Nummer van het tijdschriftPart 1
DOI's
StatusGepubliceerd - 15 feb 2022

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