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Issue 31, 2020
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Non-equilibrium interaction between catalytic colloids: boundary conditions and penetration depth

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Abstract

Spherical colloids that catalyze the interconversion reaction A [leftrightharpoons] B between solute molecules A and B whose concentration at infinity is maintained away from equilibrium effectively interact due to the non-uniform fields of solute concentrations. We show that this long range 1/r interaction is suppressed via a mechanism that is superficially reminiscent but qualitatively very different from electrostatic screening: catalytic activity drives the concentrations of solute molecules towards their equilibrium values and reduces the chemical imbalance that drives the interaction between the colloids. The imposed non-equilibrium boundary conditions give rise to a variety of geometry-dependent scenarios; while long-range interactions are suppressed (except for a finite penetration depth) in the bulk of the colloid solution in 3D, they can persist in quasi-2D geometry in which the colloids but not the solutes are confined to a surface, resulting in the formation of clusters or Wigner crystals, depending on the sign of the interaction between colloids.

Graphical abstract: Non-equilibrium interaction between catalytic colloids: boundary conditions and penetration depth

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
14 May 2020
Accepted
17 Jul 2020
First published
17 Jul 2020

Soft Matter, 2020,16, 7414-7420
Article type
Paper

Non-equilibrium interaction between catalytic colloids: boundary conditions and penetration depth

A. Y. Grosberg and Y. Rabin, Soft Matter, 2020, 16, 7414
DOI: 10.1039/D0SM00893A

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