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Issue 6, 2019
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Effect of anisotropic diffusion on spinodal decomposition

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We study the phase transition dynamics of a fluid system in which the particles diffuse anisotropically in space. The motivation to study such a situation is provided by systems of interacting magnetic colloidal particles subject to the Lorentz force. The Smoluchowski equation for the many-particle probability distribution then acquires an anisotropic diffusion tensor. We show that in comparison to the isotropic case, anisotropic diffusion results in qualitatively different dynamics of spinodal decomposition. Using the method of dynamical density functional theory, we predict that the intermediate-stage decomposition dynamics are slowed down significantly by anisotropy; the coupling between different Fourier modes is strongly reduced. Numerical calculations are performed for a model (Yukawa) fluid that exhibits gas–liquid phase separation.

Graphical abstract: Effect of anisotropic diffusion on spinodal decomposition

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Article information

03 Oct 2018
02 Dec 2018
First published
04 Dec 2018

Soft Matter, 2019,15, 1319-1326
Article type

Effect of anisotropic diffusion on spinodal decomposition

H. D. Vuijk, J. M. Brader and A. Sharma, Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 1319
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM02017E

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