Nanoscale Seebeck effect at hot metal nanostructures

Abstract : We theoretically study the Seebeck effect in the vicinity of a heated metal nanostructure, such as the cap of an active Janus colloid in an electrolyte, or gold-coated interfaces in optofluidic devices. The thermocharge accumulated at the surface varies with the local temperature, thus modulating the diffuse part of the electric double layer. On a conducting surface with non-uniform temperature, the isopotential condition imposes a significant polarization charge within the metal. Surprisingly, this does not affect the slip velocity, which takes the same value on insulating and conducting surfaces. Our results for specific-ion effects agree qualitatively with recent observations for Janus colloids in different electrolyte solutions. Comparing the thermal, hydrodynamic, and ion diffusion time scales, we expect a rich transient behavior at the onset of thermally powered swimming, extending to microseconds after switching on the heating.
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New Journal of Physics, Institute of Physics: Open Access Journals, 2018, 20, pp.025001. 〈10.1088/1367-2630/aaa266〉
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Aboubakry Ly, Arghya Majee, Alois Würger. Nanoscale Seebeck effect at hot metal nanostructures. New Journal of Physics, Institute of Physics: Open Access Journals, 2018, 20, pp.025001. 〈10.1088/1367-2630/aaa266〉. 〈hal-01699638〉

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