Diffusion and reaction in a lamellar system: Self-similarity with finite rates of reaction

F. J. Muzzio*, J. M. Ottino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The evolution of an imperfectly mixed systemmimicked in terms of a distribution of lamellaeis studied. Two reactants A and B, initially placed in alternate striations, diffuse and undergo a reaction A+B2P with intrinsic rate r=kr(cAcB)± Simulations, scaling analysis, and space-averaged (fractal) kinetics are used to study the evolution of the system for different values of ± and kr. For ±=1 and short times, a model based on the dynamics of reaction for a single lamella with infinite neighbors predicts the overall rate of reaction. For ±<2.5, diffusion takes control of the dynamics for moderate to large times, and the kinetic parameters become irrelevant. Under these conditions, critical self-organization determines the behavior of the system, and the spatial structure evolves into a self-similar form that is independent of both kr and initial conditions. En route to scaling, the system undergoes two independent transitions: (i) from intrinsic chemical kinetics control to diffusion control, and (ii) from a system with several characteristic lengths to a system with only one characteristic length; these transitions might occur in any order, depending on controlling parameters. A combination of both short- and long-time regimes gives an efficient prediction for the average concentration of reactants for all times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5873-5884
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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