A versatile model for soft patchy particles with various patch arrangements

ZW Li and YL Zhu and ZY Lu and ZY Sun, SOFT MATTER, 12, 741-749 (2016).

DOI: 10.1039/c5sm02125a

We propose a simple and general mesoscale soft patchy particle model, which can felicitously describe the deformable and surface-anisotropic characteristics of soft patchy particles. This model can be used in dynamics simulations to investigate the aggregation behavior and mechanism of various types of soft patchy particles with tunable number, size, direction, and geometrical arrangement of the patches. To improve the computational efficiency of this mesoscale model in dynamics simulations, we give the simulation algorithm that fits the compute unified device architecture (CUDA) framework of NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs). The validation of the model and the performance of the simulations using GPUs are demonstrated by simulating several benchmark systems of soft patchy particles with 1 to 4 patches in a regular geometrical arrangement. Because of its simplicity and computational efficiency, the soft patchy particle model will provide a powerful tool to investigate the aggregation behavior of soft patchy particles, such as patchy micelles, patchy microgels, and patchy dendrimers, over larger spatial and temporal scales.

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