Demixing and test particle dynamics in complex fluids

In this project we would like to investigate fundamental aspects of the dynamics in two soft matter model systems. First, we will study spinodal decomposition and nucleation of a two-dimensional oligomer-solvent system with Molecular Dynamics simulations. In simulations of phase separation kinetics, large length and time scales are involved due to mesoscopic structure formation. In this respect, these simulations are extremely demanding from a computational point of view. By using fast, highly-parallelized graphics cards and restriction to two dimensions we will be able to study systems of almost macroscopic dimensions (i.e. larger than 500 nm). Secondly, we would like to study test particle dynamics in another soft matter model system, in a colloidal glass. This will contribute to a generic understanding of the dependence of the often unusual macroscopic properties of soft matter systems on microscopic correlations.
Examples for these unusual macroscopic properties are phase transition phenomena, among them are transitions to dynamically arrested states and glassy behavior, and nonmonotonous behavior under shear. Here, methods from classical density functional theory will be exploited, and numerical computations will be sped up again by using graphics cards.