Date

1-1-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Physics

First Adviser

Gunton, James D.

Abstract

Colloidal particles undergoing spontaneous aggregation are a system of interest. Protein aggregation has been shown to be an important pathway to disease and novel materials with new and desired properties can be synthesized quickly and effectively if they undergo self-assembly. Understanding this self-assembly and the mechanisms that cause it are of tantamount importance to solving these problems in biology and engineering. The simplest model particle is a hard, incompressible sphere. Simulation studies of these types of particles display different behaviors under different conditions illustrated on a phase diagram. Since this original study, particles with additional levels of complexity, anisotropic shape or directional attractive interaction have been studied in simulation and have demonstrated a wide variety of behavior. In this work, anisotropic shape ellipsoids and directional “patchy” interactions are combined in the model particle. The liquid-liquid phase transitions of these patchy ellipsoids are mapped out via Monte Carlo simulation techniques. Both increasing shape elongation and decreasing patchy surface act to depress the location of the critical temperature on the phase diagram. Thermodynamic properties of the dense fluid phase of patchy ellipsoids are also calculated and finite size effects are discussed. Additionally, particle patch distribution is affected by elongated shape and found to have an effect on resultant phase behavior.

Included in

Biophysics Commons

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