Generalized thermodynamics of motility-induced phase separation: phase equilibria, Laplace pressure, and change of ensembles

AP Solon and J Stenhammar and ME Cates and Y Kafri and J Tailleur, NEW JOURNAL OF PHYSICS, 20, 075001 (2018).

DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/aaccdd

Motility-induced phase separation leads to cohesive active matter in the absence of cohesive forces. We present, extend and illustrate a recent generalized thermodynamic formalism which accounts for its binodal curve. Using this formalism, we identify both a generalized surface tension, that controls finite-size corrections to coexisting densities, and generalized forces, that can be used to construct new thermodynamic ensembles. Our framework is based on a non-equilibrium generalization of the Cahn-Hilliard equation and we discuss its application to active particles interacting either via quorum-sensing interactions or directly through pairwise forces.

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