Nanofluidic Transport in Branching Nanochannels: A Molecular Sieve Based on Y-Junction Nanotubes

L Liu and X Chen, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, 113, 6468-6472 (2009).

DOI: 10.1021/jp900721h

Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we study the fundamental partitioning and screening behaviors of nanofluids confined in Y-junction nanochannels, and demonstrate their feasibility as efficient molecular sieves. A flow of gas or liquid molecules is partitioned at the junction and separated into the two side branches with different volume fractions. The opening-gaps of the side branches are manipulated, and the sieve characteristics are explored as the gas phase, mixture composition/ratio, and opening dimensions are varied. The studies provide design principles for a molecular sieve with maximum probability passing one type of molecule into a screening branch, and meanwhile maximizing the rejection rate of other types of molecules.

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