Hydrodynamic effects in kinetics of phase separation in binary fluids: Critical versus off-critical compositions

K Das and SK Das, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 107, e044116 (2023).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.107.044116

Via hydrodynamics-preserving molecular dynamics simulations we study growth phenomena in a phase -separating symmetric binary mixture model. We quench high-temperature homogeneous configurations to state points inside the miscibility gap, for various mixture compositions. For compositions at the symmetric or critical value we capture the rapid linear viscous hydrodynamic growth due to advective transport of material through tubelike interconnected domains. For state points very close to any of the branches of the coexistence curve, the growth in the system, following nucleation of disconnected droplets of the minority species, occurs via a coalescence mechanism. Using state-of-the-art techniques, we have identified that these droplets, between collisions, exhibit diffusive motion. The value of the exponent for the power-law growth, related to this diffusive coalescence mechanism, has been estimated. While the exponent nicely agrees with that for the growth via the well-known Lifshitz-Slyozov particle diffusion mechanism, the amplitude is stronger. For the intermediate compositions we observe initial rapid growth that matches the expectations for viscous or inertial hydrodynamic pictures. However, at later times these types of growth cross over to the exponent that is decided by the diffusive coalescence mechanism.

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