Controlling turbulent drag across electrolytes using electric fields
Reversible in operando control of friction is an unsolved challenge that is crucial to industrial tribology. Recent studies show that at low sliding velocities, this control can be achieved by applying an electric field across electrolyte lubricants. However, the phenomenology at high sliding velocities is yet unknown. In this paper, we investigate the hydrodynamic friction across electrolytes under shear beyond the transition to turbulence. We develop a novel, highly parallelised numerical method for solving the coupled Navier–Stokes Poisson–Nernst–Planck equation. Our results show that turbulent drag cannot be controlled across dilute electrolytes using static electric fields alone. The limitations of the Poisson–Nernst–Planck formalism hint at ways in which turbulent drag could be controlled using electric fields.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Chemical Physics of Electroactive Materials