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Size and temperature effects on the viscosity of water inside carbon nanotubes

Hongfei Ye1, Hongwu Zhang1*, Zhongqiang Zhang12 and Yonggang Zheng1

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Structural Analysis for Industrial Equipment, Department of Engineering Mechanics, Faculty of Vehicle Engineering and Mechanics, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116023, China

2 Center of Micro/Nano Science and Technology, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:87  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-87

Published: 17 January 2011


The influences of the diameter (size) of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and the temperature on the viscosity of water confined in SWCNTs are investigated by an "Eyring-MD" (molecular dynamics) method. The results suggest that the relative viscosity of the confined water increases with increasing diameter and temperature, whereas the size-dependent trend of the relative viscosity is almost independent of the temperature. Based on the computational results, a fitting formula is proposed to calculate the size- and temperature- dependent water viscosity, which is useful for the computation on the nanoflow. To demonstrate the rationality of the calculated relative viscosity, the relative amount of the hydrogen bonds of water confined in SWCNTs is also computed. The results of the relative amount of the hydrogen bonds exhibit similar profiles with the curves of the relative viscosity. The present results should be instructive for understanding the coupling effect of the size and the temperature at the nanoscale.