Structure and dynamics of water confined in a graphene nanochannel under gigapascal high pressure: dependence of friction on pressure and confinement

L Yang and YJ Guo and DF Diao, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 19, 14048-14054 (2017).

DOI: 10.1039/c7cp01962a

Recently, water flow confined in nanochannels has become an interesting topic due to its unique properties and potential applications in nanofluidic devices. The trapped water is predicted to experience high pressure in the gigapascal regime. Theoretical and experimental studies have reported various novel structures of the confined water under high pressure. However, the role of this high pressure on the dynamic properties of water has not been elucidated to date. In the present study, the structure evolution and interfacial friction behavior of water constrained in a graphene nanochannel were investigated via molecular dynamics simulations. Transitions of the confined water to different ice phases at room temperature were observed in the presence of lateral pressure at the gigapascal level. The friction coefficient at the water/graphene interface was found to be dependent on the lateral pressure and nanochannel height. Further theoretical analyses indicate that the pressure dependence of friction is related to the pressure- induced change in the structure of water and the confinement dependence results from the variation in the water/graphene interaction energy barrier. These findings provide a basic understanding of the dynamics of the nanoconfined water, which is crucial in both fundamental and applied science.

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