Osmosis with active solutes
SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh - Mayfield Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JZ, UK
Received: 22 January 2014
Accepted: 16 April 2014
Despite much current interest in active matter, little is known about osmosis in active systems. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we investigate how active solutes perturb osmotic steady states. We find that solute activity increases the osmotic pressure, and can also expel solvent from the solution —i.e. cause reverse osmosis. The latter effect cannot be described by an effective temperature, but can be reproduced by mapping the active solution onto a passive one with the same degree of local structuring as the passive solvent component. Our results provide a basic framework for understanding active osmosis, and suggest that activity-induced structuring of the passive component may play a key role in the physics of active-passive mixtures.
PACS: 47.57.J- – Colloidal systems / 83.10.Rs – Computer simulation of molecular and particle dynamics / 05.70.Ln – Nonequilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics
© EPLA, 2014