Published Research - Department of Chemistry


Date of this Version



Published by Am Physical Soc. Phys. Rev. E 68, 011203 (2003). Copyright 2003. Permission to use.


We have studied the bulk and interfacial properties of a dipolar-quadrupolar fluid based on an extended modified mean-field density-functional theory. Effects of a uniform electric field on the bulk and interfacial properties are also studied. Results of the coexisting vapor-liquid densities, interfacial profiles of the density and orientation order parameters, the surface tension, and their dependence on the temperature, magnitude of molecule dipole and quadrupole moment, and the applied field are obtained. In general, we find that the applied field increases the critical temperature, broadens the vapor-liquid coexistence curves, and reduces the surface tension. We also find that if the quadrupole moment is positive, the reduction in the surface tension is greater when the applied field is in the direction from the vapor to the liquid phase than the reduction when the field is in the opposite direction. This apparent symmetry breaking by reversing the field direction may offer a molecular mechanism to explain the phenomenon of the sign preference in liquid droplet formation on charged condensation centers.

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