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Phase separation in fluids exposed to spatially periodic external fields

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journal contribution
posted on 2013-05-17, 13:09 authored by R.L.C Vink, Andrew ArcherAndrew Archer
When a fluid is confined within a spatially periodic external field, the liquid-vapor transition is replaced by a different transition called laser-induced condensation (LIC) [ Götze et al. Mol. Phys. 101 1651 (2003)]. In d=3 dimensions, the periodic field induces an additional phase, characterized by large density modulations along the field direction. At the triple point, all three phases (modulated, vapor, and liquid) coexist. At temperatures slightly above the triple point and for low (high) values of the chemical potential, two-phase coexistence between the modulated phase and the vapor (liquid) is observed; by increasing the temperature further, both coexistence regions terminate in critical points. In this paper, we reconsider LIC using the Ising model to resolve a number of open issues. To be specific, we (1) determine the universality class of the LIC critical points and elucidate the nature of the correlations along the field direction, (2) present a mean-field analysis to show how the LIC phase diagram changes as a function of the field wavelength and amplitude, (3) develop a simulation method by which the extremely low tension of the interface between modulated and vapor or liquid phase can be measured, (4) present a finite-size scaling analysis to accurately extract the LIC triple point from finite-size simulation data, and (5) consider the fate of LIC in d=2 dimensions.



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Vink, R.L.C. and ARCHER, A.J., 2012. Phase separation in fluids exposed to spatially periodic external fields. Physical Review E, 85 (3), 031505, 11pp.


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This article was published in the journal, Physical Review E [© American Physical Society].




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