Rheology of water in small nanotubes

J Cobena-Reyes and M Sahimi, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 102, 023106 (2020).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.102.023106

The properties of water in confinement are very different from those under bulk conditions. In some cases the melting point of ice may be shifted and one may find either ice, icelike water, or a state in which freezing is completely inhibited. Understanding the dynamics and rheology of water in confined media, such as small nanotubes, is of fundamental importance to the biological properties of micro-organisms at low temperatures, to the development of new devices for preserving DNA samples, and for other biological materials and fluids, lubrication, and development of nanostructured materials. We study rheology and dynamics of water in small nanotubes using extensive equilibrium and nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations. The results demonstrate that in strong confinement in nanotubes at temperatures significantly below and above bulk freezing temperature water behaves as a shear- thinning fluid at shear rates smaller than the inverse of the relaxation time in the confined medium. In addition, our results indicate the presence of regions in which the local density of water varies significantly over the same range of temperature in the nanotube. These findings may also have important implications for the design of nanofluidic systems.

Return to Publications page