Solid-liquid coexistence of polydisperse fluids via simulation

Nigel B Wilding

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12 Citations (SciVal)


We describe a simulation method for the accurate study of the equilibrium freezing properties of polydisperse fluids under the experimentally relevant condition of fixed polydispersity. The approach is based on the phase switch Monte Carlo method of Wilding and Bruce [Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 5138 (2000)]. This we have generalized to deal with particle size polydispersity by incorporating updates which alter the diameter sigma of a particle, under the control of a distribution of chemical potential differences mu(sigma). Within the resulting isobaric semi-grand-canonical ensemble, we detail how to adapt mu(sigma) and the applied pressure such as to study coexistence, while ensuring that the ensemble averaged density distribution rho(sigma) matches a fixed functional form. Results are presented for the effects of small degrees of polydispersity on the solid-liquid transition of soft spheres.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104103
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • particle size
  • Monte Carlo methods
  • phase equilibrium
  • freezing
  • chemical potential


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