Liquid-vapor phase diagram and surface properties in oppositely charged colloids represented by a mixture of attractive and repulsive Yukawa potentials
The liquid-vapor phase diagrams of equal size diameter σ binary mixtures of screened potentials have been reported for several ranges of interaction using Monte Carlo simulation methods [J. B. Caballero, A. M. Puertas, A. Fern´andez-Barbero, F. J. de las Nieves, J. M. Romero-Enrique, and L. F. Rull, J. Chem. Phys. 124, 054909 (2006)10.1063/1.2159481; A. Fortini, A.-P. Hynninen, and M. Dijkstra, J. Chem. Phys. 125, 094502 (2006)10.1063/1.2335453]. Both works report controversial results about the stability of the phase diagram with the inverse Debye screening length κ. Caballero found stability for values of κσ up to 20 while Fortini reported stability for κσ up to 20 while Fortini reported stability for κσ ⩽ 4. In this work a spinodal decomposition process where the liquid and vapor phases coexist through an interface in a slab geometry is used to obtain the phase equilibrium and surface properties using a discontinuous molecular dynamics simulations for mixtures of equal size particles carrying opposite charge and interacting with a mixture of attractive and repulsive Yukawa potentials at different values of κσ. An crude estimation of the triple point temperatures is also reported. The isothermal-isobaric method was also used to determine the phase stability using one phase simulations. We found that liquid-vapor coexistence is stable for values of κσ > 20 and that the critical temperatures have a maximum value at around κσ = 10, in agreement with Caballero et al. calculations. There also exists a controversy about the liquid-vapor envelope stability of the pure component attractive Yukawa model which is also discussed in the text. In addition, details about the equivalence between continuous and discontinuous molecular dynamics simulations are given, in the Appendix, for Yukawa and Lennard-Jones potentials.