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Nanopumping Of Water Via Rotation Of Graphene Nanoribbons.

W. Toh, Elisa Y M Ang, T. Ng, R. Lin, Zishun Liu
Published 2020 · Materials Science, Medicine

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In this paper, we perform molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to propose a novel bio-inspired nano-pumping mechanism that is achieved through the rotation of graphene nanoribbons. Due to the rotation and interaction with water, the graphene nanoribbons undergo morphological transformation. It is shown that with appropriate geometrical and spatial parameters, the resulting morphology is twisted ribbon, which is efficient in pumping of water through a channel. This mimics the propulsive behaviors of bacterial flagella through continual rotation at the base and causing morphology of the geometry into twisted ribbons, thus driving flow. It was observed that the maximum flux rate decreases upon reaching the optimal configuration even with increasing rotational speed and increasing graphene width. This is due to development of cavitation near the region of the nanoribbon with tip velocities approaching the speed of sound in water. The simulation shows promising results where the flux rate of the driven flow outperforms various nanopump configurations that have been reported in recent literature by more than one order.
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