Anomalous flow behavior in closed and open thin walled nanochannels
journal contributionposted on 01.03.2011, 00:00 by Sohail Murad, Ishwar K. Puri
Molecular dynamics simulations have been carried out to examine water flow in symmetric and asymmetric open and closed ends nanochannels with hydrophilic surfaces. The results are counterintuitive and the opposite of what is observed in macro-systems--closed channels fill faster with fluid than do their open counterparts. In addition, hybrid closed-open asymmetric channels fill up even faster. These results can be explained on the basis of the fluid-structure interaction that arises through the different vibrational behaviors of the surface molecules that are part of the wall forming these channels. Such effects are not expected to be of significance in macro-channels, and point to an important case where macro and nano-channels exhibit contrary behavior. Since these effects results from strong interactions between the fluid molecules and solid surface, one would not expect them with hydrophobic walls, and our simulations confirm such behavior.