Optimal number of linkers per monomer in linker-mediated aggregation.


Departamento de Física, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal. [Email]


We study the dynamics of diffusion-limited irreversible aggregation of monomers, where bonds are mediated by linkers. We combine kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of a lattice model with a mean-field theory to study the dynamics when the diffusion of aggregates is negligible and only monomers diffuse. We find two values of the number of linkers per monomer which maximize the size of the largest aggregate. We explain the existence of the two maxima based on the distribution of linkers per monomer. This observation is well described by a simple mean-field model. We also show that a relevant parameter is the ratio of the diffusion coefficients of monomers and linkers. In particular, when this ratio is close to ten, the two maxima merge at a single maximum.

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