Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics Laboratory - UMR 5509

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The transport and mixing of molecules or particules is essential in many processes. Mixing is obtained under the stretching and folding effects of the fluid and the final homogenization is accounted for by molecular diffusion - the intrinsic property of matter. A recent study carried out in a micro-channel (Abécassis et al., iLM) showed that gradients of molecular solute can significantly alter the diffusive behavior of colloids (diffusiophoresis) and then their effective diffusion.

The role played by diffusion in turbulent mixing zones is often considered as insignificant. Yet, diffusiophoresis may play a true role at the macroscopic scale. It would then be very meaningful when, for instance, studying pollutant or sediment dispersion by a river, in an ocean, etc.

Fluorescent colloids mixed by chaotic advection in a Hele-Shaw cell.

This collaborative work was supported by LabEx iMUST – project MaxiMix.


Mauger C, Volk R, Machicoane N, et al. Diffusiophoresis at the macroscale. Phys. Rev. Fluids. 2016;1:034001.


Volk R, Mauger C, Bourgoin M, Cottin-Bizonne C, Ybert C, Raynal F. Chaotic mixing in effective compressible flows. Phys. Rev. E. 2014;90:013027.