Nonlinear rheology of dense colloidal systems with short-ranged attraction: A mode-coupling theory analysis
The nonlinear rheology of glass-forming colloidal suspensions with short-ranged attractions is discussed within the integration-through transients framework combined with the mode-coupling theory of the glass transition (ITT-MCT). Calculations are based on the square-well system (SWS), as a model for colloid-polymer mixtures. The high-density regime featuring reentrant melting of the glass upon increasing the attraction strength, and the crossover from repulsive glasses formed at weak attraction to attractive glasses formed at strong attraction, are discussed. Flow curves are found in qualitative agreement with experimental data, featuring a strong increase in the yield stress, and, for suitable interaction parameters, the crossover between two yield stresses. The yield strain, defined as the position of the stress overshoot under startup flow, is found to be proportional to the attraction range for strong attraction. At weak and intermediate attraction strength, the combined effects of hard-core caging and attraction-driven bonding result in a richer dependence on the parameters. The first normal-stress difference exhibits a weaker dependence on short-ranged attractions as the shear stress, since the latter is more sensitive the short-wavelength features of the static structure.