Influence of friction on the packing efficiency and short-to- intermediate range structure of hard-sphere systems

JJ Tang and XH Wen and Z Zhang and DY Wang and XB Huang and YJ Wang, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 159, 194901 (2023).

DOI: 10.1063/5.0175513

Using particle-resolved computer simulations, we investigate the effect of friction on the packing structure of hard-sphere mixtures with two kinds of particles under external compression. We first show that increasing friction between the particles results in a more disordered and less efficient packing of the local structure on the nearest neighbor scale. It is also found that standard two-point correlation functions, i.e., radial distribution function and static structure factor, show basically no detectable changes beyond short-range distances upon varying inter-particle friction. Further analysis of the structure using a four-point correlation method reveals that these systems have on the intermediate-range scale a three-dimensional structure with an icosahedral/dodecahedral symmetry that exhibits a pronounced dependence on friction: small friction gives rise to an orientational order that extends to larger distances. Our results also demonstrate that composition plays a role in that the degree of structural order and the structural correlation length are mainly affected by the friction coefficients associated with the more abundant species.

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