Self-assembly and phase behavior of mixed patchy colloids with any bonding site geometry: theory and simulation
Patchy colloids and associating fluids have attracted continued interest due to the interesting phase behavior and self-assembly in solution. The ability to fabricate patchy colloids with multiple attractive surface patches of different number, size, shape, and relative location makes patchy colloids a good candidate as building blocks to form complex advanced materials. However, a theory that clearly relates the self-assembled structures that form based on the anisotropic interactions has been missing. Although Wertheim's theory in the form of the SAFT model is widely used to predict self-assembly and phase behavior in solution, SAFT does not include multibody correlations necessary to model any shape of association site or sites that can form multiple bonds. We have recently developed a new theory for associating colloids that naturally incorporates multibody correlations based on a cluster distribution approach due to Bansal, Asthagiri, Marshall, and Chapman (BAMC). In this paper, we extended the cluster distribution theory to predict the thermodynamic properties and phase behavior of binary systems consisting of anisotropic particles with any geometry of bonding site. In particular, we consider self-assembly of Janus particles, Saturn particles, and ternary particles mixed with solvent colloids that have two directional patchy sites. Good agreement between theoretical predictions and molecular simulation is shown for self-assembly, thermodynamic properties in this system. Re-entrant phase behavior has been investigated and low density gels is predicted.