One-dimensional Gaussian-core fluid: ordering and crossover from normal diffusion to single-file dynamics
The peculiarity of a bounded pair potential in combination with strong confinement brings some quite interesting new phenomenology in the structure and dynamics of one-dimensional colloidal systems. Such behaviour is atypical in comparison with colloidal systems interacting with potentials that diverge at the origin. In this contribution, by means of molecular dynamics simulations, a confined one-dimensional model of particles interacting via a Gaussian-core pair potential is studied. We explore the effects of confinement, density and temperature on the structural and dynamical correlation functions. Our findings indicate that the static and dynamic liquid-state anomalies already reported in open systems are also present in this 1D model system. Using the radial distribution function and the static structure factor to characterise the spatial ordering, it is observed that the system remains fluid at all densities. However, when the reduced temperature is above 0.03, it displays typical features of a liquid regime, i.e., there exist short-range spatial correlations among particles. In contrast, at lower temperatures and densities, where the particle–particle interaction dominates, the system behaves structurally and dynamically similar to a hard-core repulsive system. In such a region, interestingly, there is a crossover from a liquid to a solid-like regime. At any given temperature, the system undergoes a sort of reentrant structural behaviour as the density increases. At either high densities or temperatures, particle correlations vanish, thus, the system exhibits structural and dynamical properties similar to those of an ideal gas. To examine a possible correlation between the structural anomalies and the diffusive behaviour, the mean-square displacement and the self-intermediate scattering function are also computed. From these observables, we establish the thermodynamic phase-space points where the dynamical behaviour is non-monotonic. In conjunction with the observed anomalous diffusion, we have found a dynamical crossover from single-file diffusion, which is characteristic of one-dimensional systems with a well-defined hard-core, to the ordinary Fickian diffusion present in open systems.