Molecular Insights into the Regulatable Interfacial Property and Flow Behavior of Confined Ionic Liquids in Graphene Nanochannels

YL Wang and CL Wang and YQ Zhang and F Huo and HY He and SJ Zhang, SMALL, 15, 1804508 (2019).

DOI: 10.1002/smll.201804508

The understanding of confined structure and flow property of ionic liquid (IL) in a nanochannel are essential for the efficient application of ILs in the green chemical processes. In this work, the ionic structure and various flow behaviors of ILs inside graphene nanochannels via molecular dynamics simulations are shown. The effect of the nanochannel structure on confined flow is explored, showing that the width mainly heightens the viscosity while the oxidation degree primarily enhances the interfacial friction coefficient. Tuning the width and oxidation degree of nanochannel, three different flow behaviors including Poiseuille, partial plunger and full plunger flow can be achieved, where the second one does not occur in water or other organic solvents. To describe the special flow behavior, an effective influence extent of the nanochannel (w(EIE)) is defined, whose value can distinguish the above flows effectively. Based on w(EIE), the phase diagrams of flow behavior for the nanochannel structure and pressure gradient are obtained, showing that the critical pressure gradient decreases with width and increases with the oxidation degree. Based on the quantitative relations between confined structures, viscosity, friction coefficient, flow behavior, and nanochannel structure, the intrinsic mechanism of regulating the flow behavior and rational design of nanochannel are finally discussed.

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