Loughborough University
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On the interplay between sedimentation and phase separation phenomena in two-dimensional colloidal fluids

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posted on 2014-10-07, 14:45 authored by Andrew ArcherAndrew Archer, Alexandr Malijevsky
Colloidal particles that are confined to an interface effectively form a two-dimensional fluid. We examine the dynamics of such colloids when they are subject to a constant external force, which drives them in a particular direction over the surface. Such a situation occurs, for example, for colloidal particles that have settled to the bottom of their container, when the container is tilted at an angle, so that they ‘sediment’ to the lower edge of the surface. We focus in particular on the case when there are attractive forces between the colloids which causes them to phase separate into regions of high density and low density and we study the influence of this phase separation on the sedimentation process. We model the colloids as Brownian particles and use both Brownian dynamics computer simulations and dynamical density functional theory (DDFT) to obtain the time evolution of the ensemble average one-body density profiles of the colloids. We consider situations where the external potential varies only in one direction so that the ensemble average density profiles vary only in this direction. We solve the DDFT in one-dimension, by assuming that the density profile only varies in one direction. However, we also solve the DDFT in two dimensions, allowing the fluid density profile to vary in both the x- and y-directions. We find that in certain situations the two-dimensional DDFT is clearly superior to its one-dimensional counterpart when compared with the simulations and we discuss this issue.


AJA gratefully acknowledges financial support from RCUK and AM acknowledges financial support of the MSMT of the Czech Republic under Project No. LC512 and the GAAS of the Czech Republic (Grant No. IAA400720710).



  • Science


  • Mathematical Sciences

Published in







1087 - 1099 (13)


ARCHER, A.J. and MALIJEVSKY, A., 2011. On the interplay between sedimentation and phase separation phenomena in two-dimensional colloidal fluids. Molecular Physics, 109 (7-10), pp. 1087 - 1099.


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Molecular Physics on 8 April 2011, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00268976.2010.544267.




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