Spurious character of singularities associated with phase transitions in cylindrical pores
Institut für Physik, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Staudinger Weg 7, 55099 Mainz, Germany
a e-mail: Kurt.Binder@uni-mainz.de
Revised: 15 June 2011
Published online: 30 August 2011
Phase transitions of simple fluids and binary fluid mixtures confined into long cylindrical pores are re-examined, such as capillary condensation/evaporation and wetting transitions. While a large part of the literature ignores the fact that due to the quasi-one-dimensional character of these systems a singular behavior associated with a sharp phase transition cannot occur, we pay attention to the extent in which these phase transitions are smoothed out (in relation to the magnitude of the pore cross-sectional area). We argue that the finiteness of the pore length is an important parameter which controls the physical phenomena that are observed in simulations (and presumably also experiments explaining the distinction between the apparent “pore critical temperature” and the “hysteresis critical temperature”). We illustrate our arguments with recent findings from simulations of a lattice gas/Ising system and of the Asakura-Oosawa model of colloid-polymer mixtures.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2011