Confined Liquid Flow in Nanotube: A Numerical Study and Implications for Energy Absorption

JB Zhao and Y Qiao and PJ Culligan and X Chen, JOURNAL OF COMPUTATIONAL AND THEORETICAL NANOSCIENCE, 7, 379-387 (2010).

DOI: 10.1166/jctn.2010.1369

Understanding nanofluidic behavior is of fundamental value to the development of many potential nano-technology applications, including high-performance energy absorption. We carry out non-equilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) simulations to study the transport characteristics of liquids in a confined nano-environment. It is shown that the distributed electric field arising from either an electrolyte water solution (due to the dissolved ions) or a partially charged solid surface, could lead to nanofluidic properties that are significantly different to those associated with pure water or a neutral nanotube. In addition, the nanopore size and the transport rate are shown to be important factors that strongly influence the flow process. The nominal viscosity and the shearing stress between the nanofluid and tube wall, which characterize the ease for nanofluid transport under an external driving force, are found to be dependent on the liquid phase and solid phase properties, as well as liquid flow rate and nanotube size. By varying properties of liquid phase and solid phase, liquid flow rate and nanotube size, the energy absorption characteristics of nanofluidic devices might be adjusted.

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