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Scaling of Electroosmotic Flow and Ionic Conductivity in Nanochannels

R. Qiao and N.R. Aluru
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, US

electrokinetic transport, electroosmotic flow, ionic conductivity, nanochannel, scaling

Electrokinetic transport is widely encountered in many nanofluidic systems, and understanding its scaling as a function of various operating conditions, e.g., bulk concentration, is important for establishing design rules and for exploring the design space. Here we report, for first time, the scaling study of the electroosmotic flow and ionic conductivity in slit nano-channels using molecular dynamics (MD) and continuum simulations. The simulation results indicated that the scaling of electroosmotic flow and ionic conductivity in nanometer channels is influenced strongly by the molecular nature of ions and discreteness of water molecules and can not be predicted accurately by the continuum theory. The scaling behavior observed in the MD simulations could provide useful guidelines for the design of electrokinetic transport-based nanofluidic devices.

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