XIV. Transport in Nanotubes
Understanding and controlling the transport of water across nanochannels is of great importance for designing novel molecular devices, machines and sensors and has wide applications, including the desalination of seawater. Nano-pumps driven by electric or magnetic fields can transport ions and magnetic quanta, but water is charge-neutral and has no magnetic moment. On the basis of molecular dynamics simulations, we propose a design for a molecular water pump. The design uses a combination of charges positioned adjacent to a carbon nanotube with an appripriate radius, and is inspired by the structure of channels in the cellular membrane that conduct water in and out of the cell (aquaporins). The remarkable pumping ability is attributed to the charge dipole-induced ordering of water confined in the nanochannels where water can be easily driven by external fields in a concerted fashion. These findings may provide possibilities for developing water transport devices that function without osmotic pressure or a hydrostatic pressure gradient.This abstract was created on: 2009/3/27 9:52:39 (EST).
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