Influence of morphology of colloidal nanoparticle gels on ion transport and rheology

S Kadulkar and D Banerjee and F Khabaz and RT Bonnecaze and TM Truskett and V Ganesan, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 150, 214903 (2019).

DOI: 10.1063/1.5099056

We develop a simple model to probe the ion transport and mechanical properties of low volume fraction colloidal nanoparticle gels. Specifically, we study the influence of the morphology of gels on ion diffusion and the corresponding roles of affinity to and enhanced ion transport along nanoparticle surfaces. We employ kinetic Monte Carlo simulations to simulate ion transport in the colloidal gels, and we perform nonequilibrium molecular dynamics to study their viscoelastic behavior. Our results indicate that in the presence of enhanced diffusion pathways for ions along the particle surface, morphology has a significant influence on the diffusivity of ions. We demonstrate that some gel morphologies can exhibit simultaneously enhanced ion transport and mechanical properties, thus illustrating a strategy to decouple ion transport and mechanical strength in electrolytes.

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