Europhys. Lett.
Volume 73, Number 5, March 2006
Page(s) 793 - 799
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 01 February 2006
Europhys. Lett., 73 (5), pp. 793-799 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10464-8

Diffusion-induced spontaneous pattern formation on gelation surfaces

H. Katsuragi

Department of Applied Science for Electronics and Materials Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Engineering Sciences, Kyushu University 6-1 Kasugakoen, Kasuga, Fukuoka 816-8580, Japan

received 30 September 2005; accepted in final form 13 January 2006
published online 1 February 2006

Although the pattern formation on polymer gels has been considered as a result of the mechanical instability due to the volume phase transition, we found a macroscopic surface pattern formation not caused by the mechanical instability. It develops on gelation surfaces, and we consider the reaction-diffusion dynamics mainly induces a surface instability during polymerization. Random and straight stripe patterns were observed, depending on gelation conditions. We found the scaling relation between the characteristic wavelength and the gelation time. This scaling is consistent with the reaction-diffusion dynamics and would be a first step to reveal the gelation pattern formation dynamics.

82.40.Ck - Pattern formation in reactions with diffusion, flow and heat transfer.
82.70.Gg - Gels and sols.

© EDP Sciences 2006