Microscopic theory of the influence of strong attractive forces on the activated dynamics of dense glass and gel forming fluids

Ashesh Ghosh, Kenneth S. Schweizer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We theoretically study the nonmonotonic (re-entrant) activated dynamics associated with a finite time scale kinetically defined repulsive glass to fluid to attractive glass transition in high volume fraction particle suspensions interacting via strong short range attractive forces. The classic theoretical "projection" approximation that replaces all microscopic forces by a single effective force determined solely by equilibrium pair correlations is revisited based on the "projectionless dynamic theory" (PDT). A hybrid-PDT approximation is formulated that explicitly quantifies how attractive forces induce dynamical constraints, while singular hard core interactions are treated based on the projection approach. Both the effects of interference between repulsive and attractive forces, and structural changes due to attraction-induced bond formation that competes with caging, are included. Combined with the microscopic Elastically Collective Nonlinear Langevin Equation (ECNLE) theory of activated relaxation, the resultant approach appears to properly capture both the re-entrant dynamic crossover behavior and the strong nonmonotonic variation of the activated structural relaxation time with attraction strength and range at very high volume fractions as observed experimentally and in simulations. Testable predictions are made. Major differences compared to both ideal mode coupling theory and ECNLE theory based on the full force projection approximation are identified. Calculations are also performed for smaller time and length scale intracage dynamics relevant to the non-Gaussian parameter based on analyzing the dynamic free energy that controls particle trajectories. Implications of the new theory for thermal glass forming liquids with relatively long range attractive forces are briefly analyzed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number244502
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 28 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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