Statistical Thermodynamics of Material Transport in Nonisothermal Suspensions

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An approach to the transport of material in a temperature gradient is outlined using nonequilibrium thermodynamics theory. The model is applicable to the thermophoresis of colloids and nanoparticles in systems with limited miscibility. Component chemical potentials in binary systems are calculated using statistical mechanics. The local pressure distribution is obtained using the condition of local thermodynamic equilibrium around the suspended particle. The Laplace contribution of the local pressure distribution within the layer of liquid surrounding the particle leads to a size dependence that is consistent with empirical data. The contribution of Keezom interaction to the thermodiffusion coefficient is calculated using empirical values of the thermodiffusion coefficient for silica particles in water and acetonitrile. The resulting interaction energies are consistent with those found in the literature.