Condensed Matter Seminar: Active waves in liquid-liquid phase separation
Itamar Kolvin, UC Santa Barbara
Phase separation of liquids, as illustrated by everyday oil and water mixtures, provides the basis for creating diverse soft materials, from lipid vesicles to emulsions. These states of matter are typically formed upon the addition of surface adsorbing agents that stabilize liquid interfaces. I will show that active matter provides a new way for controlling phase separation. Active fluids contain microscopic energy consuming objects that drive far-from-equilibrium large-scale flows. When combined with liquid-liquid phase separation, active matter completely partitioned to one of the phases. Bulk flows in the active phase produced waves along phase boundaries whose amplitude is set by activity. These dynamic modes lead to a finite-size steady state, where coalescence of smaller droplets is balanced by the break-up of larger ones. When interfaces meet a solid boundary, active waves also drive non-equilibrium wetting transitions. These results demonstrate the promise of mechanically-driven interfaces for creating a new class of soft active matter.
Event Organizer: Dr. Yohai Bar Sinai