Gas Flow at the Ultra-nanoscale: Universal Predictive Model and Validation in Nanochannels of Ångstrom-Level Resolution

Giovanni Scorrano, Giacomo Bruno, Nicola Di Trani, Mauro Ferrari, Alberto Pimpinelli, Alessandro Grattoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gas transport across nanoscale pores is determinant in molecular exchange in living organisms as well as in a broad spectrum of technologies. Here, we report an unprecedented theoretical and experimental analysis of gas transport in a consistent set of confining nanochannels ranging in size from the ultra-nanoscale to the sub-microscale. A generally applicable theoretical approach quantitatively predicting confined gas flow in the Knudsen and transition regime was developed. Unlike current theories, specifically designed for very simple channel geometries, our approach can be applied to virtually all geometries, for which the probability distribution of path lengths for particle-interface collisions can be computed, either analytically or by numerical simulations. To generate a much needed benchmark experimental model, we manufactured extremely reproducible membranes with two-dimensional nanochannels. Channel sizes ranged from 2.5 to 250 nm, and angstrom level of size control and interface tolerances were achieved using leading-edge nanofabrication techniques. We then measured gas flow in the Knudsen number range from 0.2 to 20. Excellent agreement between theoretical predictions and experimental data was found, demonstrating the validity and potential of our approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32233-32238
Number of pages6
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume10
Issue number38
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • convective gas flow
  • Knudsen regime
  • nanochannels
  • nanofluidic membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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