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Defect-Induced Phase Separation in Dipolar Fluids

Science  17 Nov 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5495, pp. 1328-1331
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5495.1328

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Abstract

A defect-induced, critical phase separation in dipolar fluids is predicted, which replaces the usual liquid-gas transition that is driven by the isotropic aggregation of particles and is absent in dipolar fluids due to strong chaining. The coexisting phases are a dilute gas of chain ends that coexists with a high-density liquid of chain branching points. Our model provides a unified explanation for the branched structures, the unusually low critical temperature and density, and the consequent two-phase coexistence “islands” that were recently observed in experiment and simulation.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: cptsvi{at}weizmann.ac.il (T.T.); sam.safran{at}weizmann.ac.il

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