Selection of nonequilibrium overlimiting currents: Universal depletion layer formation dynamics and vortex instability

Gilad Yossifon, Hsueh Chia Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The ion flux dynamics across a straight nanoslot is imaged to understand the nonequilibrium phenomenon of overlimiting current density across a nanoporous membrane. With a slow ac field, an ion-depletion front is generated intermittently from one end of the nanochannel, and a vortex instability first predicted by Rubinstein, Staude, and Kedem is found to arrest the self-similar diffusive front growth. This electrokinetic instability evolves into a stationary interfacial vortex array that specifies the overlimiting current, independent of external stirring or convective flow.

Original languageEnglish
Article number254501
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume101
Issue number25
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes

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