Journal of Solution Chemistry

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 626–632 | Cite as

“Exclusion Zone” Formation in Mixtures of Ethanol and Water

  • S. A. Skopinov
  • M. V. Bodrova
  • M. P. R. Jablon
  • G. H. Pollack
  • F. A. Blyakhman


Brownian particles suspended in water or other polar liquids are pushed out of the region next to hydrophilic polymers, leaving a microsphere-free region known as the “exclusion zone” (EZ). This study aimed to test the hypothesis that the dilution of ethanol in water may influence EZ formation. EZs were created in aqueous media using Nafion tubes as EZ-nucleating surfaces. To define the outer edge of the EZ, carboxylate microspheres, 1 µm diameter, were used. Dynamic movement of microspheres away from Nafion surface was registered in mixtures of ethanol and water, the ethanol concentration varying from 0 to 95%. We found that mixtures with the highest concentrations of ethanol generally produced the smallest EZs and the slowest EZ buildup. However, an unexpected result was the presence of an extremum corresponding to ~10% ethanol. At this concentration, the EZ is larger than in either pure water or almost pure ethanol.


Hydrophilic surfaces Water Ethanol Brownian particle motion Exclusion zone (EZ) 



In part, the Russian Science Foundation (Grant# 14-19-00989) supported this work.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biomedical Physics DepartmentUral State Medical UniversityYekaterinburgRussia
  2. 2.Physics DepartmentUral Federal University Named After the First President of Russia B.N. YeltsinYekaterinburgRussia
  3. 3.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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