Mass-flow-rate-controlled fluid flow in nanochannels by particle insertion and deletion

PL Barclay and JR Lukes, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 94, 063303 (2016).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.94.063303

A nonequilibrium molecular dynamics method to induce fluid flow in nanochannels, the insertion-deletion method (IDM), is introduced. IDM inserts and deletes particles within distinct regions in the domain, creating locally high and low pressures. The benefits of IDM are that it directly controls a physically meaningful quantity, the mass flow rate, allows for pressure and density gradients to develop in the direction of flow, and permits treatment of complex aperiodic geometries. Validation of IDM is performed, yielding good agreement with the analytical solution of Poiseuille flow in a planar channel. Comparison of IDM to existing methods indicates that it is best suited for gases, both because it intrinsically accounts for compressibility effects on the flow and because the computational cost of particle insertion is lowest for low-density fluids.

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