A two-level, discrete-particle approach for simulating ordered colloidal structures

Witold Dzwinel, David A. Yuen

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We devise a new, two-level discrete-particle model to simulate ordered colloidal structures with vastly different scales. We use the molecular dynamics paradigm with a Lennard-Jones-type potential to define colloidal particle system and dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) to model the solvent. The initially mixed, disordered particle ensemble undergoes a phase transition. We observe the spontaneous creation of spherical or rod-like micelles and their crystallization in stable hexagonal or worm-like structures, respectively. The ordered arrays obtained by using the particle model are similar to the two-dimensional colloidal crystals observed in laboratory experiments. The micelle shape depends on the ratio between the scaling factors of the colloid-colloid to colloid-solvent particle interactions. The properties of the DPD solvent, such as the strongly variable viscosity and partial pressure, determine the speed of crystallization. The intriguing features of colloidal arrays and their exotic symmetries, which persist also over two-dimensional domains, can be simulated numerically by using the two-level discrete-particle approach and are illustrated here. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-190
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Thanks are due Dr. Arkady Ten from the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute for inspiring discussions. We are very grateful to the three referees for helpful comments and suggestions. Support for this work has been provided by the Energy Research Laboratory Technology Research Program, Office of Energy Research, U.S. Department of Energy, under subcontract from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and partly by Polish Committee for Scientific Research (KBN) Grant 8T11C00615.


  • Colloidal crystals
  • Dissipative particle dynamics
  • Micelles
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Two-level particle model


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