Superfast water transport discovered in graphitic nanoconduits, including carbon nanotubes and graphene nanochannels, implicates crucial applications in separation processes and energy conversion. Yet lack of complete understanding at the single-conduit level limits development of new carbon nanofluidic structures and devices with desired transport properties for practical applications. Here, we show that the hydraulic resistance and slippage of single graphene nanochannels can be accurately determined using capillary flow and a novel hybrid nanochannel design without estimating the capillary pressure. Our results reveal that the slip length of graphene in the graphene nanochannels is around 16 nm, albeit with a large variation from 0 to 200 nm regardless of the channel height. We corroborate this finding with molecular dynamics simulation results, which indicate that this wide distribution of the slip length is due to the surface charge of graphene as well as the interaction between graphene and its silica substrate.
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This work is supported by the Faculty Startup Fund (Boston University, USA) and the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) programme award (CBET-1653767). The authors would like to thank the Photonics Center at Boston University for the use of their fabrication and characterization facilities. S.J. and Z.X. acknowledge the support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China through grant no. 11472150. M.H. and J.K. are thankful for financial support by the AFOSR FATE MURI, grant no. FA9550-15-1-0514. H.G.P. appreciates the support from ETH grant (ETH-30 13-1) and Swiss National Science Foundation (200021-146856).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Xie, Q., Alibakhshi, M.A., Jiao, S. et al. Fast water transport in graphene nanofluidic channels. Nature Nanotech 13, 238–245 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-017-0031-9
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