Thermal Transpiration : A Molecular Dynamics Study
TJ Francis and SP Sathian, PROCEEDINGS OF THE 29TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON RAREFIED GAS DYNAMICS, 1628, 901-908 (2014).
Thermal transpiration is a phenomenon where fluid molecules move from the cold end towards the hot end of a channel under the influence of longitudinal temperature gradient alone. Although the phenomenon of thermal transpiration is observed at rarefied gas conditions in macro systems, the phenomenon can occur at atmospheric pressure if the characteristic dimensions of the channel is less than 100 nm. The flow through these nanosized channels is characterized by the free molecular flow regimes and continuum theory is inadequate to describe the flow. Thus a non-continuum method like molecular dynamics (MD is necessary to study such phenomenon. ID the present work, MD simulations were carried out to investigate the occurance of thermal transpiration in copper and platinum nanochannels at atmospheric pressure conditions The mean pressure of argon gas confined inside the nano channels was maintained around 1 bar The channel height is maintained at 2nm.. The argon atoms interact with each other and with the wall atoms through the Lennard- Jones potential. The wall atoms are modelled using an LAM potential. Further, separate simulations were carried out where a Harmonic potential is used for the atom-atom interaction in the platinum channel. A thermally insulating wall was introduced between the low and high temperature regions and those wall atoms interact with fluid atoms through a repulsive potential. A reduced cut off radius were used to achieve this. Thermai creep is induced by applying a temperature gradient along the channel wall. it was found that flow developed in the direction of the increasing temperature gradient of the wall. An increase in the volumetric flux was observed as the length of the cold and the hot regions of the wall were increased. The effect of temperature gradient and the wall-fluid interaction strength on the flow parameters have been studied to understand the phenomenon better,
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