Flow-induced currents in nanotubes: a brownian dynamics approach

Das, Moumita ; Ramaswamy, Sriram ; Sood, A. K. ; Ananthakrishna, G. (2005) Flow-induced currents in nanotubes: a brownian dynamics approach Europhysics Letters . pp. 1-7. ISSN 0295-5075

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Official URL: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2005cond.mat..5017D


Motivated by recent experiments [1] reporting that carbon nanotubes immersed in a flowing fluid displayed an electric current and voltage, we numerically study the behaviour of a collection of Brownian particles in a channel, in the presence of a flow field applied on similar but slower particles in a wide chamber in contact with the channel. For a suitable range of shear rates, we find that the flow field induces a unidirectional drift in the confined particles, and is stronger for narrower channels. The average drift velocity initially rises with increasing shear rate, then shows saturation for a while, thereafter starts decreasing, in qualitative agreement with recent theoretical studies [2] based on Brownian drag and "loss of grip". Interestingly, if the sign of the interspecies interaction is reversed, the direction of the induced drift remains the same, but the flow-rate at which loss of grip occurs is lower, and the level of fluctuations is higher.

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