Molecular dynamics simulations of surface-controlled phase separation of binary fluid mixtures confined in slit pores - Online only
Institut für Physik, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, 55099 Mainz, Germany
2 Institute for Physical Science and Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, 20742, USA
3 School of Physical Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 110067, India
When binary mixtures are confined into nanoscopic slit pores, an intricate interplay between surface enrichment (wetting) of one component and lateral phase separation occurs. After a brief review of the static equilibrium phase diagram of such systems, a discussion of the kinetics of phase separation is given. Considering quenches from an initially homogeneous distribution of the two species in the slit, it is shown by molecular dynamics simulation that typically in the initial stages a stratified structure develops, with enrichment layers of the preferred component at the walls of the slit pore. Then this laterally homogeneous structure breaks up into domains, which coarsen with time according to a power law with a 2/3 exponent. This growth law must be attributed to a hydrodynamic mechanism, since corresponding simulations of a diffusive Ginzburg-Landau model yield an exponent of 1/3 only. The relation to spinodal decomposition in d=2 space dimensions is briefly discussed.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2007