WIAS Preprint No. 1603, (2011)

A gradient structure for systems coupling reaction-diffusion effects in bulk and interfaces


  • Glitzky, Annegret
  • Mielke, Alexander
    ORCID: 0000-0002-4583-3888

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 35K45 35Q92 78A35 78A57


  • Gradient-flow evolution, electro-reaction-diffusion systems, interface kinetics, reversible mass action type reactions, free energy functional


We derive gradient-flow formulations for systems describing drift-diffusion processes of a finite number of species which undergo mass-action type reversible reactions. Our investigations cover heterostructures, where material parameter may depend in a nonsmooth way on the space variable. The main results concern a gradient flow formulation for electro-reaction-diffusion systems with active interfaces permitting drift-diffusion processes and reactions of species living on the interface and transfer mechanisms allowing bulk species to jump into an interface or to pass through interfaces. The gradient flows are formulated in terms of two functionals: the free energy and the dissipation potential. Both functionals consist of a bulk and an interface integral. The interface integrals determine the interface dynamics as well as the self-consistent coupling to the model in the bulk. The advantage of the gradient structure is that it automatically generates thermodynamically consistent models.

Appeared in

  • ZAMP Z. Angew. Math. Phys., 64 (2013) pp. 29--52.

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