In this study, we explore the global phase behavior of a simple model for self-associating fluids where association reduces the strength of the dispersion interactions between bonded particles. Recent research shows that this type of behavior likely explains the thermodynamic properties of strongly polar fluids and certain micellar solutions. Based on Wertheim's theory of associating liquids [M. S. Wertheim, J. Stat. Phys. 42, 459 (1986); 42, 477 (1986)], our model takes into account the effect that dissimilar particle interactions have on the equilibrium constant for self-association in the system. We find that weaker interactions between bonded molecules tend to favor the dissociation of chains at any temperature and density. This effect stabilizes a monomeric liquid phase at high densities, enriching the global phase behavior of the system. In particular, for systems in which the energy of mixing between bonded and unbonded species is positive, we find a triple point involving a vapor, a dense phase of chain aggregates, and a monomeric liquid. Phase coexistence between the vapor and the monomeric fluid is always more stable at temperatures above the triple point, but a highly associated fluid may exist as a metastable phase under these conditions. The presence of this metastable phase may explain the characteristic nucleation behavior of the liquid phase in strongly dipolar fluids.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry