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Special Seminar: Wetting, Water, and Flow Through Single Nanotubes

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Special Seminar by Peter Taborek (UC Irvine)
15 November 2013 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
339 Davey Laboratory
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(814) 863-2622
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Flow through nanometer-scale pores is important in biology , geological flows through porous rocks, and in filtration and separation processes. Flow through these pores is controlled by different physics than conventional macroscopic pipes. Single phase fluid flow in nanometer channels is extremely sensitive to slip and the exact boundary conditions at the solid- liquid interface. Because curvature of interfaces in small channels is very high, two phase flows are subject to large Laplace pressures and are sensitive to the contact angle and the wetting properties of the interface.  Experiments by others on flow through “carpets” of carbon nanotubes have yielded flow rates that are hundreds of times greater than predicted by conventional hydrodynamics. I will discuss recent experiments in our lab on pressure driven flow through single nanopipes using water, nitrogen and helium ( including superfluid) over a wide range of temperature. The results show clear transitions between distinct flow regimes. I will also discuss contact angle measurements of water on graphite. Somewhat paradoxically, water does not wet many materials.  Our experiments have identified the first wetting transition in water at T=280C.