Taylor Disperson of elongated rods


Authors: Harris, Kumar, Powers, Thompson
Subjects: Nanoparticles, Nanorods

Particles transported in fluid flows, such as cells, polymers, or nanorods, are rarely spherical. In this study, we numerically and theoretically investigate the dispersion of an initially localized patch of passive elongated Brownian particles in a two-dimensional Poiseuille flow, demonstrating that elongated particles exhibit an enhanced longitudinal dispersion. In a shear flow, the rods translate due to advection and diffusion and rotate due to rotational diffusion and their classical Jeffery’s orbit. The magnitude of the enhanced dispersion depends on the particle’s aspect ratio and the relative importance of its shear-induced rotational advection and rotational diffusivity. When rotational diffusion dominates, we recover the classical Taylor dispersion result for the longitudinal spreading rate using an orientationally averaged translational diffusivity for the rods. However, in the high-shear limit, the rods tend to align with the flow and ultimately disperse more due to their anisotropic diffusivities. Results from our Monte Carlo simulations of the particle dispersion are captured remarkably well by a simple theory inspired by Taylor’s original work. For long times and large Péclet numbers, an effective one-dimensional transport equation is derived with integral expressions for the particles’ longitudinal transport speed and dispersion coefficient. The enhanced dispersion coefficient can be collapsed along a single curve for particles of high aspect ratio, representing a simple correction factor that extends Taylor’s original prediction to elongated particles.