Penetration dynamics through nanometer-scale hydrophilic capillaries: Beyond Washburn's equation and extended menisci

Kang Ching Chu, Heng Kwong Tsao, Yu Jane Sheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hypothesis: Recently, the naoncapillary devices with the channel width about 2–3 water molecules have been fabricated. Water transport through these nanoslits showed unexpectedly fast flow, revealing the failure of Washburn's equation. Experiments: Liquid penetration into a nanocapillary made of two parallel walls is explored by many-body dissipative particle dynamics. Both partial wetting and total wetting walls are considered and the no-slip boundary condition is satisfied. Findings: The wicking velocity generally obeys Washburn's equation, but the dynamic contact angle (CA) has to be employed. The dynamic CA (θD) relies on the penetration rate and is always larger than the equilibrium CA. The breakdown of Washburn's equation occurs under two conditions, (i) the channel width close to molecular size and (ii) the positive spreading coefficient is large enough. Both cases come about when the wicking velocity in a nanoslit exceeds the maximum value corresponding to cos(θD) = 1. The failure of Washburn's equation is attributed to the invalidity of Young-Laplace equation associated with undefined meniscus. The extended meniscus will be developed as a wall of the nanoslit continues to extend outside the exit mouth. The shapes of extended menisci are discussed for both partial wetting and total wetting surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-348
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume538
DOIs
StatePublished - 7 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Extended meniscus
  • Nanocapillary
  • Washburn's equation

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