Large scale Brownian dynamics of confined suspensions of rigid particles

Brennan Sprinkle, Florencio Balboa Usabiaga, Neelesh A. Patankar, Aleksandar Donev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

We introduce methods for large-scale Brownian Dynamics (BD) simulation of many rigid particles of arbitrary shape suspended in a fluctuating fluid. Our method adds Brownian motion to the rigid multiblob method [F. Balboa Usabiaga et al., Commun. Appl. Math. Comput. Sci. 11(2), 217-296 (2016)] at a cost comparable to the cost of deterministic simulations. We demonstrate that we can efficiently generate deterministic and random displacements for many particles using preconditioned Krylov iterative methods, if kernel methods to efficiently compute the action of the Rotne-Prager-Yamakawa (RPY) mobility matrix and its "square" root are available for the given boundary conditions. These kernel operations can be computed with near linear scaling for periodic domains using the positively split Ewald method. Here we study particles partially confined by gravity above a no-slip bottom wall using a graphical processing unit implementation of the mobility matrix-vector product, combined with a preconditioned Lanczos iteration for generating Brownian displacements. We address a major challenge in large-scale BD simulations, capturing the stochastic drift term that arises because of the configuration-dependent mobility. Unlike the widely used Fixman midpoint scheme, our methods utilize random finite differences and do not require the solution of resistance problems or the computation of the action of the inverse square root of the RPY mobility matrix. We construct two temporal schemes which are viable for large-scale simulations, an Euler-Maruyama traction scheme and a trapezoidal slip scheme, which minimize the number of mobility problems to be solved per time step while capturing the required stochastic drift terms. We validate and compare these schemes numerically by modeling suspensions of boomerang-shaped particles sedimented near a bottom wall. Using the trapezoidal scheme, we investigate the steady-state active motion in dense suspensions of confined microrollers, whose height above the wall is set by a combination of thermal noise and active flows. We find the existence of two populations of active particles, slower ones closer to the bottom and faster ones above them, and demonstrate that our method provides quantitative accuracy even with relatively coarse resolutions of the particle geometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number244103
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume147
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 28 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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