Floating Liquid Phase in Sedimenting Colloid-Polymer Mixtures

Matthias Schmidt, Marjolein Dijkstra, Jean-Pierre Hansen
2004 Physical Review Letters  
Density functional theory and computer simulation are used to investigate sedimentation equilibria of colloid-polymer mixtures within the Asakura-Oosawa-Vrij model of hard sphere colloids and ideal polymers. When the ratio of buoyant masses of the two species is comparable to the ratio of differences in density of the coexisting bulk (colloid) gas and liquid phases, a stable "floating liquid" phase is found, i.e., a thin layer of liquid sandwiched between upper and lower gas phases. The full
more » ... phases. The full phase diagram of the mixture under gravity shows coexistence of this floating liquid phase with a single gas phase or a phase involving liquid-gas equilibrium; the phase coexistence lines meet at a triple point. This scenario remains valid for general asymmetric binary mixtures undergoing bulk phase separation.
doi:10.1103/physrevlett.93.088303 pmid:15447232 fatcat:zedwvzg32bem5pe74tuh76fdxm