Chemical reaction facilitates nanoscale mixing

Alexander Patashinski*, Rafal Orlik, Mark Ratner, Bartosz A. Grzybowski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


To investigate the nature of mixing in reacting liquids, a two-dimensional system comprising two partly miscible liquids A and B that can form surface-active AB dimers was studied using Molecular Dynamics simulations. In the initial state, A and B occupied different parts of the system and were separated by a planar interface. Due to the A + B ↔ AB reaction, this interface became unstable and the liquids mixed. When the reaction was fast, it facilitated pronounced flows on molecular as well as larger scales. These non-equilibrium motions broke-up large, homogeneous regions into progressively smaller clusters surrounded by the AB dimers. This process substantially enhanced the mixing of A and B. The reaction created a variety of markedly different final morphologies depending on the reaction rate, component miscibility, and other parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4441-4445
Number of pages5
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 21 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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