Linear viscoelasticity of nanocolloidal suspensions from probe rheology molecular simulations

DS Devarajan and R Khare, JOURNAL OF RHEOLOGY, 66, 837-852 (2022).

DOI: 10.1122/8.0000445

We use molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in conjunction with the probe rheology technique to investigate the linear viscoelasticity of nanocolloidal suspensions. A particulate model of the solvent is used in which the hydrodynamics is governed by interparticle interactions. Active and passive probe rheology molecular simulations are performed on the colloidal suspensions of different volume fractions ranging from 0.30 to 0.45 to determine the linear viscoelastic properties of these systems. The viscoelastic modulus of the suspensions is obtained by analyzing the probe motion using continuum mechanics. In active rheology, the distribution of colloid particles around the probe is observed to be symmetric indicating that the system is in the linear regime at all conditions investigated. In passive rheology, the mean- squared displacement of the probe covers the range of motion from ballistic to diffusive regimes. The dynamic modulus and the reduced complex viscosity values obtained from probe rheology simulations are in good agreement with the results from the oscillatory nonequilibrium MD (NEMD) simulations and the literature theoretical predictions. At low frequency values, accounting for artificial hydrodynamic interactions between the probe and its periodic images improves the quantitative accuracy of the modulus values obtained from simulations. Simulations carried out using probes of different sizes indicate that only the probes that are larger than the colloids yield viscoelastic modulus values that are in good agreement with the NEMD values at all volume fractions investigated. (C) 2022 The Society of Rheology.

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