We numerically investigate cooperative polymerization in an off-lattice model based on a pairwise additive potential using particles with a single attractive patch that covers 30% of the colloid surface. Upon cooling, these particles self-assemble into small clusters which, below a density-dependent temperature, spontaneously reorganize into long straight tubes. We evaluate the partition functions of clusters of all sizes to provide an accurate description of the chemical reaction constants governing this process. Our calculations show that, for intermediate sizes, the partition functions retain contributions from two different structures, differing in both energy and entropy. We illustrate the microscopic mechanism behind the complex polymerization process in this system and provide a detailed evaluation of its thermodynamics.
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Research Article| April 10 2014
Cooperative polymerization of one-patch colloids
Teun Vissers, Frank Smallenburg, Gianmarco Munaò, Zdeněk Preisler, Francesco Sciortino; Cooperative polymerization of one-patch colloids. J. Chem. Phys. 14 April 2014; 140 (14): 144902. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4869834
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