Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research

Title

Voltage-controlled Flow Regulating in Nanofluidic Channels with Charged Polymer Brushes

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2010

Abstract

Polyelectrolyte brushes can be grafted on a nanofluidic channel to control flow as a nanoscale valve for various applications. Under external electric fields, the polymer brushes undergo extension/collapse transition, which can be used to regulate the opening and thus the flow rate of the channel. The gating behaviors of the nanoscale valve are investigated by molecular dynamics simulation. The effect of electrical field strength and external pressure on the flow gating capability of the nanovalve is studied. Results show that the polymer brush modified nanochannel can be closed and opened by switching on and off external electric fields; the flow rate can be adjusted by varying the strength of electrical field. The nanovalve can also be strengthened to sustain higher fluidic pressure by applying higher electric field. This nanovalve can rapidly respond to the external electrical signals. The dynamic response time for opening and closing the channel is in sub-microsecond level.

Publication Title

Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

Volume

9

Issue

4-5

First Page

915

Last Page

922