Effect of Electric Field on Liquid Infiltration into Hydrophobic Nanopores

BX Xu and Y Qiao and QL Zhou and X Chen, LANGMUIR, 27, 6349-6357 (2011).

DOI: 10.1021/la200477y

Understanding the variation of nanofluidic behavior in the presence of an external electric field is critical for controlling and designing nanofluidic devices. By studying the critical infiltration pressure of liquids into hydrophobic nanopores using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and experiments, important insights can be gained on the variation of the effective liquid solid interfacial tension with the magnitude and sign of electric field, as well as its coupling with the pore size and the solid and liquid species. It is found that the effective hydrophobicity reduces with the increase of electric intensity and/or pore size, and the behavior is asymmetric with respect to the direction of the electric field. The underlying molecular mechanisms are revealed via the study of the density profile, contact angle, and surface tension of confined liquid molecules.

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