Understanding the transport properties of a porous medium from a knowledge of its microstructure is a problem of great interest in the physical, chemical, and biological sciences. Using a first-passage time method, we compute the mean survival time τ of a Brownian particle among perfectly absorbing traps for a wide class of triply periodic porous media, including minimal surfaces. We find that the porous medium with an interface that is the Schwartz P minimal surface maximizes the mean survival time among this class. This adds to the growing evidence of the multifunctional optimality of this bicontinuous porous medium. We conjecture that the mean survival time (like the fluid permeability) is maximized for triply periodic porous media with a simply connected pore space at porosity =1/2 by the structure that globally optimizes the specific surface. We also compute pore-size statistics of the model microstructures in order to ascertain the validity of a "universal curve" for the mean survival time for these porous media. This represents the first nontrivial statistical characterization of triply periodic minimal surfaces.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|State||Published - Aug 6 2009|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics