Diffusion of hard sphere fluids in disordered media: A molecular dynamics simulation study

Rakwoo Chang, Kamakshi Jagannathan, Arun Yethiraj

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4 Scopus citations


Molecular dynamic simulations are reported for the static and dynamic properties of hard sphere fluids in matrices (or media) composed of quenched hard spheres. The effect of fluid and matrix density, matrix structure, and fluid to matrix sphere size ratio on the static and dynamic properties is studied using discontinuous molecular dynamics. The matrix density has a stronger effect on the self-diffusion coefficient than the fluid density, especially at high matrix densities where the geometric constraints due to the quenched spheres are significant. When the ratio of the size of the fluid spheres to that of the matrix spheres is equal to or greater than one, the diffusion increases as the fluid density is increased, at constant total volume fraction. This trend is however reversed if the ratio is smaller than one. Different methods of generating the matrix have a very strong effect on the dynamic properties even though the static correlations are similar. An analysis of the single-chain structure factor of the particle trajectories shows a change in the particle diffusive behavior at different time scales, suggestive of a hopping mechanism, although normal diffusion is recovered at long times. At high matrix densities, there is considerable heterogeneity in the diffusion of the fluid particles. The simulations demonstrate that the correlations in the matrix play a significant role on the diffusion of fluid spheres. For example, the diffusion constant in matrices constructed by different methods can be an order of magnitude different even though the pair correlation functions are almost identical.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2004


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