Coarsening of Precipitation Patterns in a Moving Reaction-Diffusion Front

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Volford, A.
Lagzi, I.
Molnar Jr, F.
Racz, Z.
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Abstract
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Precipitation patterns emerging in a 2D moving front are investigated on the example of NaOH diffusing into a gel containing AlCl_3. The time evolution of the precipitate Al(OH)_3 can be observed since the precipitate redissolves in the excess outer electrolyte NaOH and thus it exists only in a narrow, optically accessible region of the reaction front. The patterns display self-similar coarsening with a characteristic length, xi(t), increasing with time t as xi(t) ~ t^(1/2). A theory based on Cahn-Hilliard phase-separation dynamics including dissolution is shown to yield agreement with the experiments.
Comment: 4 pages, 7 figures, to appear in Phys. Rev. E
Keywords
Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics
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