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Chin. Phys. B, 2015, Vol. 24(7): 074702    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/24/7/074702

Nano watermill driven by revolving charge

Zhou Xiao-Yana b, Kou Jian-Longb, Nie Xue-Chuanc, Wu Feng-Mina b, Liu Yangd, Lu Hang-Junb
a Department of Physics and Institute of Theoretical Physics, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006, China;
b Department of Physics, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004, China;
c Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800, China;
d Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong 999077, China

A novel nanoscale watermill for the unidirectional transport of water molecules through a curved single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) is proposed and explored by molecular dynamics simulations. In this nanoscale system, a revolving charge is introduced to drive a water chain confined inside the SWNT, the charge and the tube together serving as a nano waterwheel and nano engine. A resonance-like phenomenon is found, and the revolving frequency of the charge plays a key role in pumping the water chain. The water flux across the SWNT increases with respect to the revolving frequency of the external charge and it reaches its maximum when the frequency is 4 THz. Correspondingly, the number of hydrogen bonds in the water chain inside the SWNT decreases dramatically as the frequency increases from 4 THz to 25 THz. The mechanism behind the resonance phenomenon has been investigated systematically. Our findings are helpful for the design of nanoscale fluidic devices and energy converters.

Keywords:  water pumping      molecular dynamics simulations      carbon nanotube      revolving charge  
Received:  19 November 2014      Revised:  13 February 2015      Published:  05 July 2015
PACS:  47.60.-i (Flow phenomena in quasi-one-dimensional systems)  
  47.11.Mn (Molecular dynamics methods)  
  83.10.Mj (Molecular dynamics, Brownian dynamics)  

Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11005093 and 61274099), the Research Fund of Education Department of Zhejiang Province, China (Grant No. Y201223336), the Zhejiang Provincial Science and Technology Key Innovation Team, China (Grant No. 2011R50012), the Key Laboratory of Zhejiang Province, China (Grant No. 2013E10022), and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China (Grant No. G-YL41).

Corresponding Authors:  Wu Feng-Min, Liu Yang, Lu Hang-Jun     E-mail:;;

Cite this article: 

Zhou Xiao-Yan, Kou Jian-Long, Nie Xue-Chuan, Wu Feng-Min, Liu Yang, Lu Hang-Jun Nano watermill driven by revolving charge 2015 Chin. Phys. B 24 074702

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