A non-equilibrium thermodynamic instability in shear-induced diffusion in polymer solutions*
Departament de Física, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
2 Departamento de Ciencias y Técnicas Físicoquímicas, UNED, 28040 Madrid, Spain
3 Institut d'Estudis Catalans, 08001 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Corresponding author: Jose.Casas@uab.cat
In the presence of shear flow, the constitutive equation for the diffusion flux in polymer solutions exhibits two kinds of coupling. One of these couplings comes from the viscous pressure contribution to the chemical potential, and the other one from the divergence of the viscous pressure tensor. The former contribution yields an effective diffusion coefficient depending on the viscous pressure, which may become negative in some circumstances. In such a case, an instability appears and the previously homogeneous system splits into two regions, with different solute concentrations – concentration banding. This separation depends on the polymer molecular mass and therefore it may provide a basis for the chromatographic separation of polymers of different molecular mass.
This investigation is a part of a research project with the financial support of the Dirección General de Investigación Científica y Técnica of the Spanish Ministry of Education under grants FIS 2006-12296-C02-01 and REN 2003-00185/CLI, and of the Direcció General de Recerca of the Generalitat of the Catalonia under contract 2005-SGR00087.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2007