Phase behavior and dynamics in a colloid-polymer mixture under spherical confinement

A Bera and K Binder and SA Egorov and SK Das, SOFT MATTER, 19, 3386-3397 (2023).

DOI: 10.1039/d3sm00362k

From studies via molecular dynamics simulations, we report results on structure and dynamics in mixtures of active colloids and passive polymers that are confined inside a spherical container with a repulsive boundary. All interactions in the fully passive limit are chosen in such a way that in equilibrium coexistence between colloid-rich and polymer- rich phases occurs. For most part of the studies the chosen compositions give rise to Janus-like structure: nearly one side of the sphere is occupied by the colloids and the rest by the polymers. This partially wet situation mimics approximately a neutral wall in the fully passive scenario. Following the introduction of a velocity-aligning activity to the colloids, the shape of the polymer-rich domain changes to that of an ellipsoid, around the long axis of which the colloid-rich domain attains a macroscopic angular momentum. In the steady state, the orientation of this axis evolves via diffusion, magnitude of which depends upon the strength of activity, but only weakly.

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