Solute Diffusion in Nonionic Liquids—Effects of Gravity



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Errata for Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 1161: 526–536 Volume 1177, 205, Article first published online: 15 October 2009
  2. Errata: Corrigendum for Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 1161: 526–536 Volume 1225, 202, Article first published online: 28 April 2011

Address for correspondence: Paul J. Scott, Queen's University, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Nicol Hall, Kingston, ON, CAN K7L 3N6. Voice: 613-533-3018.


We have been engaged in examining the influence of gravity on the results of experiments to measure the variation of solute diffusion coefficients (D) with temperature (T) in fused metals and semimetals since our first STS flights in 1992. These early experiments, conducted with the in situ g-jitter of the shuttle, showed the near-parabolic variation of D with T reported by others. However, with the aid of the Canadian Space Agency's microgravity isolation mount (MIM) to isolate the diffusion facility from the existing g-jitter of the Russian space station MIR, we showed that in all the alloy systems and over the temperature range studied, D increased linearly with T. If the isolating system was deactivated, then the more familiar parabolic relationship appeared. We have always assumed that the values of D measured using the MIM would be closer to the intrinsic values for the alloy system considered; to test this contention, we have been involved in two modeling activities. The first has been to estimate the effects of g-jitter-level disturbances on solute distributions in long capillary diffusion couples. The second has been to conduct various molecular dynamics modeling studies of solute diffusion. This paper presents results of these studies.