The phase diagram of charged colloidal suspensions

Daniel Hone, S. Alexander, P. M. Chaikin, P. Pincus

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The thermodynamics of a system of identical electrically charged spheres in colloidal suspension in a polar fluid (typically, H2O), are calculated within a model of point particles interacting via a screened Coulomb (Yukawa) potential of suitably renormalized strength. The particles are taken to be sufficiently massive that a classical theory is appropriate. The free energies of the crystalline phases are calculated within a mean field theory which is an extension of the self-consistent harmonic approximation. The melting curve is estimated from the semiempirical Lindemann rule, with mean squared displacements again calculated self-consistently. As functions of the relevant parameters: electrical charge of each sphere, density of spheres and added salt concentration, stable predicted phases include fee and bcc crystals and a disordered fluid. Under suitable circumstances a reentrant bcc→fcc→bcc transition is predicted as salt is added, and bcc is predicted always likely to be the stable phase just below the melting transition.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1474-1479
    Number of pages6
    JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1983

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Physics and Astronomy
    • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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