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Crystallization of dipolar spheres: A discussion of second-order density functional theory

TitleCrystallization of dipolar spheres: A discussion of second-order density functional theory
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsKlapp, SHL, Patey, GN
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume112
Pagination10949-10956
Date PublishedJun
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0021-9606
KeywordsFLUIDS, HARD-SPHERES, INTEGRAL-EQUATIONS, LIQUID-VAPOR INTERFACE, NEMATIC PHASE, orientational order, PHASE-TRANSITIONS, SOFT SPHERES, SOLID-PHASES, STABILITY
Abstract

We investigate the application of second-order density functional theory to the crystallization of dipolar hard and soft spheres. It is shown that the results are highly sensitive to the repulsive part of the pair potential, and to the symmetry of the fluid phase considered in the density functional theory. In general, the theoretical results for dipolar soft spheres (with r(-12) repulsion) are found to be physically more reasonable than those obtained for dipolar hard spheres. In particular, the fluid-solid density gap is greatly reduced and lies in the range expected on physical grounds and from simulations. However, theories constructed by expanding about the isotropic fluid phase overestimate the stability of the ferroelectric solid for both models, and fail to predict the stable ferroelectric fluids found in computer simulations. We have carried out calculations using ferroelectric dipolar fluids with both perfect and fluctuating orientational order as "starting points" in the density functional expansion. The results demonstrate the high sensitivity of the theory to the underlying fluid state, and strongly indicate the existence of stable ferroelectric fluids in accord with computer simulations. (C) 2000 American Institute of Physics. [S0021-9606(00)50924-6].

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