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The effect of hydrodynamic interactions on nanoparticle diffusion in polymer solutions: a multiparticle collision dynamics study

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Abstract

The diffusion of nanoparticles (NPs) in polymer solutions is studied by a combination of a mesoscale simulation method, multiparticle collision dynamics (MPCD), and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. We investigate the long-time diffusion coefficient D as well as the subdiffusive behavior in the intermediate time region. The dependencies of both D and subdiffusion factor α on NP size and polymer concentration, respectively, are explicitly calculated. Particular attention is paid to the role of hydrodynamic interaction (HI) in the NP diffusion dynamics. Our simulation results show that the long-time diffusion coefficients satisfy perfectly the scaling relation found by experimental observations. Meanwhile, the subdiffusive factor decreases with the increase in polymer concentration but is of little relevance to the NP size. By parallel simulations with and without HI, we reveal that HI will generally enhance D, while the enhancement effect is non-monotonous with increasing polymer concentration, and it becomes most pronounced at semidilute concentrations. With the aid of a scaling law based on the diffusive activation energy model, we understand that HI affects diffusion through decreasing the diffusive activation energy on the one hand while increasing the effective diffusion size on the other. In addition, HI will certainly influence the subdiffusive behavior of the NP, leading to a larger subdiffusion exponent.

Graphical abstract: The effect of hydrodynamic interactions on nanoparticle diffusion in polymer solutions: a multiparticle collision dynamics study

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Sep 2017, accepted on 31 Oct 2017 and first published on 31 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01854A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017, Advance Article
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    The effect of hydrodynamic interactions on nanoparticle diffusion in polymer solutions: a multiparticle collision dynamics study

    A. Chen, N. Zhao and Z. Hou, Soft Matter, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01854A

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