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New bulk liquid membrane oscillator composed of two coupled oscillators with diffusion-mediated physical coupling

Maria Szpakowska, Elżbieta Płocharska-Jankowska, and Ottó B. Nagy

Department of Quality Management and Commodity Science, Faculty of Management and Economics, Gdańsk University of Technology, 80-233 Gdańsk, ul. Narutowicza 11/12, Poland



Abstract: A new type of bulk liquid membrane system, which represents the first example of a bulk liquid membrane oscillator characterised by the presence of two coupled oscillators, is described. When the benzyldimethyltetradecylammonium chloride surfactant undergoes an oscillatory mass transfer through a nitromethane liquid membrane, a new liquid layer (phase X) appears between the membrane and the acceptor phase. Kinetic analysis provides evidence that the whole system is composed of two coupled oscillators with diffusion-mediated physical coupling. The first component oscillator (based on nitromethane) of lower frequency delivers the driving material to the second one (phase X-based oscillator) leading to additional higher frequency oscillations. A new molecular mechanism is proposed for interpreting the experimental observations. The results might enhance understanding of intercellular communication in biology, where periodic signalling is more efficient than any other type of signalling mode.

Keywords: phase separation – chemical kinetics – numerical simulations – coupled oscillations

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1515/chempap-2015-0126


Chemical Papers 69 (9) 1176–1186 (2015)

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