Predictive model for convective flows induced by surface reactivity contrast

Scott M. Davidson, Rob G.H. Lammertink, Ali Mani (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
84 Downloads (Pure)


Concentration gradients in a fluid adjacent to a reactive surface due to contrast in surface reactivity generate convective flows. These flows result from contributions by electro- and diffusio-osmotic phenomena. In this study, we have analyzed reactive patterns that release and consume protons, analogous to bimetallic catalytic conversion of peroxide. Similar systems have typically been studied using either scaling analysis to predict trends or costly numerical simulation. Here, we present a simple analytical model, bridging the gap in quantitative understanding between scaling relations and simulations, to predict the induced potentials and consequent velocities in such systems without the use of any fitting parameters. Our model is tested against direct numerical solutions to the coupled Poisson, Nernst-Planck, and Stokes equations. Predicted slip velocities from the model and simulations agree to within a factor of ‰2 over a multiple order-of-magnitude change in the input parameters. Our analysis can be used to predict enhancement of mass transport and the resulting impact on overall catalytic conversion, and is also applicable to predicting the speed of catalytic nanomotors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number053701
Number of pages16
JournalPhysical review fluids
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2018


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