Diffusion limited cluster aggregation with irreversible slippery bonds
Polymères Colloïdes Interfaces, UMR6120 CNRS-Université du Maine, F-72085, Le Mans cedex 9, France
Revised: 19 September 2008
Published online: 30 October 2008
Irreversible diffusion limited cluster aggregation (DLCA) of hard spheres was simulated using Brownian cluster dynamics. Bound spheres were allowed to move freely within a specified range, but no bond breaking was allowed. The structure and size distribution of the clusters was investigated before gelation. The pair correlation function and the static structure factor of the gels were determined as a function of the volume fraction and time. Slippery bonds led to local densification of the clusters and the gels, with a certain degree of order. At low volume fractions densification of the clusters occurred during their growth, but at higher volume fractions it occurred mainly after gelation. At very low volume fractions, the large-scale structure (fractal dimension), size distribution and growth kinetics of the clusters was found to be close to that known for DLCA with rigid bonds. Restructuring of the gels continued for long times, indicating that aging processes in systems with strong attraction do not necessarily involve bond breaking. The mean-square displacement of particles in the gels was determined. It is shown to be highly heterogeneous and to increase with decreasing volume fraction.
PACS: 82.70.Dd Colloids – / 82.70.Gg Gels and sols –
© Springer, 2008