Why are fluid densities so low in carbon nanotubes?

GJ Wang and NG Hadjiconstantinou, PHYSICS OF FLUIDS, 27, 052006 (2015).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4921140

The equilibrium density of fluids under nanoconfinement can differ substantially from their bulk density. Using a mean-field approach to describe the energetic landscape near the carbon nanotube (CNT) wall, we obtain analytical results describing the lengthscales associated with the layering observed at the interface of a Lennard-Jones fluid and a CNT. We also show that this approach can be extended to describe the multiple-ring structure observed in larger CNTs. When combined with molecular simulation results for the fluid density in the first two rings, this approach allows us to derive a closed-form prediction for the overall equilibrium fluid density as a function of CNT radius that is in excellent agreement with molecular dynamics simulations. We also show how aspects of this theory can be extended to describe some features of water confinement within CNTs and find good agreement with results from the literature. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

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