Publication: Simulation of chemical potentials and phase equilibria in two- and three-dimensional square-well fluids

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Title Simulation of chemical potentials and phase equilibria in two- and three-dimensional square-well fluids
Authors/Editors* H.L. Vortler, K. Shafer and W.R.Smith
Where published* J. Phys. Chem. B
How published* Journal
Year* 2008
Volume 112
Number 15
Pages 4656-4661
We study the simulation cell size dependence of chemical potential isotherms in subcritical square-well fluids by means of series of canonical ensemble Monte Carlo simulations with increasing numbers of particles, for both three-dimensional bulk systems and two-dimensional planar layers, using Widom-like particle insertion methods. By estimating the corresponding vapor/liquid coexistence densities using a Maxwell-like equal area rule for the subcritical chemical potential isotherms, we are able to study the influence of system size not only on chemical potentials but also on the coexistence properties. The chemical potential versus density isotherms show van der Waals-like loops in the subcritical vapor/liquid coexistence range that exhibit distinct finite size effects for both two- and three-dimensional fluids. Generally, in agreement with recent findings for related studies of Lennard-Jones fluids, the loops shrink with increasing number of particles. In contrast to the subcritical isotherms themselves, the equilibrium vapor/liquid densities show only a weak system size dependence and agree quantitatively with the best-known literature values for three-dimensional fluids. This allows our approach to be used to accurately predict the phase coexistence properties. Our resulting phase equilibrium results for two-dimensional square-well fluids are new. Knowledge concerning finite size effects of square-well systems is important not only for the simulation of thermodynamic properties of simple fluids, but also for the simulation of models of more complex fluids (such as aqueous or polymer fluids) involving square-well interactions.
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