Computational insights of water droplet transport on graphene sheet with chemical density

LY Zhang and XQ Wang, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 115, 194306 (2014).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4876679

Surface gradient has been emerging as an intriguing technique for nanoscale particle manipulation and transportation. Owing to its outstanding and stable chemical properties, graphene with covalently bonded chemical groups represents extraordinary potential for the investigation of nanoscale transport in the area of physics and biology. Here, we employ molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the fundamental mechanism of utilizing a chemical density on a graphene sheet to control water droplet motions on it. Simulation results have demonstrated that the binding energy difference among distinct segment of graphene in terms of interaction between the covalently bonded oxygen atoms on graphene and the water molecules provides a fundamental driving force to transport the water droplet across the graphene sheet. Also, the velocity of the water droplet has showed a strong dependence on the relative concentration of oxygen atoms between successive segments. Furthermore, a multi-direction channel provides insights to guide the transportation of objects towards a targeted position, separating the mixtures with a system of specific chemical functionalization. Our findings shed illuminating lights on the surface gradient method and therefore provide a feasible way to control nanoscale motion on the surface and mimic the channelless microfluidics. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.

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