Phase-separation of miscible liquids in a centrifuge

Yoav Tsori, Ludwik Leibler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We show that a liquid mixture in the thermodynamically stable homogeneous phase can undergo a phase-separation transition when rotated at sufficiently high frequency ω. This phase-transition is different from the usual case where two liquids are immiscible or where the slow sedimentation process of one component (e.g. a polymer) is accelerated due to centrifugation. For a binary mixture, the main coupling is due to a term ∝ Δ ρ (ω r)2, where Δρ is the difference between the two liquid densities and r the distance from the rotation axis. Below the critical temperature there is a critical rotation frequency ωc, below which smooth density gradients occur. When ω > ωc, we find a sharp interface between the low density liquid close to the center of the centrifuge and a high density liquid far from the center. These findings may be relevant to various separation processes and to the control of chemical reactions, in particular their kinetics. To cite this article: Y. Tsori, L. Leibler, C. R. Physique 8 (2007).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-960
Number of pages6
JournalComptes Rendus Physique
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Centrifuge
  • Critical frequency
  • Phase-transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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