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Pumping of Confined Water in Carbon Nanotubes by Rotation-Translation Coupling Sony Joseph and N. R. Aluru*
 

Summary: Pumping of Confined Water in Carbon Nanotubes by Rotation-Translation Coupling
Sony Joseph and N. R. Aluru*
Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA
(Received 1 August 2007; revised manuscript received 16 June 2008; published 6 August 2008)
Bidirectional single file water transport in a carbon nanotube is known to occur in ``bursts'' in short
nanotubes. Here we show that in long carbon nanotubes, when the orientation of the water molecules is
maintained along one direction, a net water transport along that direction can be attained due to coupling
between rotational and translational motions. The rotations of the water molecules are correlated more
with the translation of the neighboring water molecule with the acceptor oxygen than the neighbor with
the donor hydrogen. This mechanism can be used to pump water through nanotubes.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.101.064502 PACS numbers: 47.61.k, 68.15.+e, 81.07.De
A rare combination of molecularly smooth walls and
hydrophobicity of the surface make carbon nanotube
(CNT) membranes a promising technology for drug deliv-
ery, selective ion transport, desalination, nanofiltration, etc.
Water transport in carbon nanotubes has attracted consid-
erable attention over the years [15]. Though bidirectional
single file water transport in ``bursts'' through a 6; 6 CNT
[1] and collective intermittent reversing of water dipolar

  

Source: Aluru, Narayana R. - Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

Collections: Engineering; Materials Science