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Title: Nanoscale fluid transport : from molecular signatures to applications
Author: Ho, T. A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 114X
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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Motivated by the fact that many novel fluid transport phenomena have been discovered at nano length scales, in this thesis I use molecular dynamics simulations to investigate how a solid surface affects the fluid properties and fluid transport in nanochannels. My ultimate goal is to search for the molecular signatures of the macroscopic observations. From the understanding of the mutual relation between molecular properties and macroscopic observations, I learn how to tailor the fluid-solid interaction to improve the performance of practical applications including nano-fluidic devices, water desalination, energy storage, and shale gas exploration. For example, in Chapter 3 I find out that liquid water can slip on hydrophilic surfaces, which contradicts conventional knowledge. The responsible molecular signature appears to be the dynamical properties of interfacial water molecules, governed by the strength of water-surface interactions and surface morphology. When water molecules can migrate from one preferential adsorption site to the next without requiring hopping events, hydrodynamic liquid slip occurs. In Chapter 4 I illustrate that the structural and dynamical properties of the electric double layer formed near graphene electrodes are crucial to the performance of supercapacitors and capacitive desalination devices. By tailoring the electrode, thin and mobile electric double layer can be obtained that can tremendously enhance the capacitance of supercapacitors and the manner that capacitive desalination devices is operated. Finally, in the study of two-phase (water and methane) flow through muscovite nanopore reported in Chapter 5 I demonstrate that the flow pattern change not only affects the movement of methane with respect to that of water but also affects the pore structure, in particular its width. As muscovite has similar structure to illite, a clay often found in shale rocks, these results advance my understanding regarding the mechanism of water and gas transport in tight shale gas formations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available