Title: Nanotechnology Interdisciplinary Research Teams: Carbon Nanopipes
for Nanofluidic Devices and In-situ Fluid Studies

Principal Investigator: Yury Gogotsi (Drexel University and Adjunct
Professor, UIC)
Co-PI(s): Constantine Megaridis (UIC)
Haim Bau (University of Pennsylvania)
Jean-Claude Bradley (Drexel University)

Submitting Institution: Drexel University

NSF Division of Chemical and Thermal Systems

Period: 08/1/02-7-31/06

Carbon nanotubes (nanopipes) offer a unique opportunity for fundamental
studies of fluid transport in the spatial regime between molecular and continuum behavior. This research includes: (a) fabrication, characterization, and modification of carbon nanopipes, (b) performance of chemical and fluidic experiments, and (c) fabrication of experimental setups that would allow transport and measurements of various liquid flows in a controlled fashion. Both actuation and imaging of the fluid are done in a transmission electron microscope, and offer a unique opportunity for studying the behavior of fluids in nanosize channels at conditions corresponding to sub-, near- or super-critical regions of the thermodynamic diagram. The hydrothermal growth technique is optimized to produce desired tube structure and geometry (internal/external diameter, length, and shape) for incorporation into experimental devices that allow the transmission of liquids through nanotubes. Fluid behavior in channels ranging from 5 to 100 nm in diameter is investigated, both by following the dynamic response of visualized fluid interfaces to external thermal stimuli and by well controlled experiments, in which pure liquids and liquids laden with macromolecules are transmitted through the tubes. The chemistry of high-temperature interactions between carbon nanopipes and aqueous fluids are studied. Chemical modification, metallization, and opening of nanopipes is done using bipolar electrochemistry. The experimental work is supplemented by modeling based on parallel molecular dynamics simulations. It is believed that the proposed research will advance the fundamental understanding needed for the design and fabrication of a new generation of nanofluidic devices, such as nano-pumps, chemical factories on a chip, biochips, and nano-analytical systems.


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