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1.
COLLOIDAL ORDERING ON SOFT COATED SURFACES
Tine Curk, 2012, master's thesis

Abstract: A grafted polymer layer can be used to prevent the deposition of colloidal particles on a solid surface. This thesis presents Monte Carlo simulations of hard-sphere colloids pushed to a polymer brush under the influence of external fields (e.g. gravity). For weak fields colloids can not penetrate the brush and the effective potential acting on a single colloid is approximately quadratic. The phase diagram of three-dimensional hard-sphere colloids, that in one dimension are constrained to a plane by a harmonic potential, is presented. Under the influence of sufficiently strong external fields colloids penetrate the brush and form internally ordered, columnar structures that span the polymer layer. The morphology of the patterns that form depends sensitively on the strength of the applied field. We propose a simple phenomenological theory that accounts for the main characteristics of the observed behaviour. The present results suggest a simple experimental method to determine the surface polymer coverage.
Keywords: Soft Matter, Monte Carlo Method, Wang-Landau Algorithm, Free Energy, Polymer Brush, Colloids, Ordering
Published: 04.03.2013; Views: 1637; Downloads: 73
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2.
Stochastic resonance in soft matter systems : combined effects of static and dynamic disorder
Matjaž Perc, Marko Gosak, Samo Kralj, 2008, original scientific article

Abstract: We study the impact of static and dynamic disorder on the phenomenon of stochastic resonance (SR) in a representative soft matter system. Due to their extreme susceptibility to weak perturbations, soft matter systems appear to be excellent candidates for the observation of SR. Indeed, we derive generic SR equations from a polymer-stabilized ferroelectric liquid crystal (LC) cell, which is a typical soft matter representative constituting one of the basic components in several electro-optic applications. We generalize these equations further in order to study an even broader class of qualitatively different systems, especially disclosing the influence of different types of static disorder and interaction ranges amongst LC molecules on the SR response. We determine the required conditions for the observation of SR in the examined system, and moreover, reveal that a random field type static disorder yields qualitatively different responses with respect to random dilution, random bond and spin glass universality classes. In particular, while the latter three decrease the level of dynamic disorder (Gaussian noise) warranting the optimal response, the former evokes exactly the opposite effect, hence increasing the optimal noise level that is needed to resonantly fine-tune the system's response in accordance with the weak deterministic electric field. These observations are shown to be independent of the system size and range of interactions, thus implying their general validity and potentially wide applicability also within other similar settings. We argue that soft matter systems might be particularly adequate as a base for different SR-based sensitive detectors and thus potent candidates for additional theoretical as well as experimental research in the presently outlined direction.
Keywords: dynamic systems, stochastic processes, stochastic resonance, nonlinear dynamical systems, soft-matter systems, static disorder, dynamic disorder
Published: 07.06.2012; Views: 1317; Downloads: 65
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