Self-assembled wiggling nano-structures and the principle of maximum entropy production

A. Belkin, Alfred Wilhelm Hubler, A. Bezryadin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While behavior of equilibrium systems is well understood, evolution of nonequilibrium ones is much less clear. Yet, many researches have suggested that the principle of the maximum entropy production is of key importance in complex systems away from equilibrium. Here, we present a quantitative study of large ensembles of carbon nanotubes suspended in a non-conducting non-polar fluid subject to a strong electric field. Being driven out of equilibrium, the suspension spontaneously organizes into an electrically conducting state under a wide range of parameters. Such self-assembly allows the Joule heating and, therefore, the entropy production in the fluid, to be maximized. Curiously, we find that emerging self-assembled structures can start to wiggle. The wiggling takes place only until the entropy production in the suspension reaches its maximum, at which time the wiggling stops and the structure becomes quasi-stable. Thus, we provide strong evidence that maximum entropy production principle plays an essential role in the evolution of self-organizing systems far from equilibrium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8323
Pages (from-to)8323
Number of pages1
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - Feb 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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