Pressure-gated capillary nanovalves based on liquid nanofilms

Kang Ching Chu, Heng Kwong Tsao, Yu Jane Sheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Hypothesis: Nanoscale valving is essential to expand the potentiality of the nanodevices. However, it is difficult to fabricate valves with movable control elements in nanoscale systems and thus it is desirable to design a nanovalve which can manipulate opening and blocking a gate without moving parts. Experiments: A pressure-gated capillary valve which contains a nanoscale liquid layer sandwiched between two plates with two aligned orifices was designed and the proof-of-concept demonstration was achieved by Many-body Dissipative Particle Dynamics. Findings: The concave or convex meniscus appears naturally within the orifice of the capillary valve and can be controlled by the pressure difference between liquid and gas phases based on Young-Laplace equation and the edge effect. The closed state can be transformed into the open state (hole) when the two concave menisci are allowed to touch each other. The on/off switch is reversible by Laplace pressure manipulation and the passing and blocking of the fluid particles through the valve is verified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-491
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2020


  • Capillary valve
  • Laplace pressure
  • Nanopore
  • On/off switch
  • Young-Laplace equation


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