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We present simulation results addressing the dynamics of a colloidal system with attractive interactions close to gelation. Our interaction also has a soft, long-range repulsive barrier that suppresses liquid-gas type phase separation at long wavelengths. The new results presented here lend further weight to an intriguing picture emerging from our previous simulation work on the same system. Whereas mode coupling theory (MCT) offers quantitatively good results for the decay of correlators, closer inspection of the dynamics reveals a bimodal population of fast and slow particles with a very long exchange time scale. This population split represents a particular form of dynamic heterogeneity (DH). Although DH is usually associated with activated hopping and/or facilitated dynamics in glasses, the form of DH observed here may be more collective in character and associated with static (i.e., structural) heterogeneity.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Physical Chemistry B (Soft Condensed Matter and Biophysical Chemistry)|
|Publication status||Published - 14 Apr 2005|