Chinese and English scholars prepare graphene "minimum channel"

The reporter learned from the University of Science and Technology of China that the school's material mechanics research team teamed up with the Nobel Prize in physics and the team of Professor Andre Heim of the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. In recent experiments, the smallest size graphene channels have been produced, which can significantly increase nanometers. The water transport efficiency at the scale provides a technical basis for the design of new nanofluidic devices for seawater desalination, gas separation, and human bionics.

Graphene is a two-dimensional crystal made up of carbon atoms with only one layer of atomic thickness. It is not only the thinnest material, but also has a very smooth surface. Taking advantage of this characteristic of graphene, the researchers proposed a new method for constructing nanochannels, stacking graphenes of different sizes to form capillary passages with sizes on the order of nanometers. This ultra-fine capillary channel can be controlled to a dimensional accuracy of 0.34 nm, which is the smallest size nanochannel that can be fabricated in the laboratory to date.

It is understood that mass transport at the nanoscale is one of the focuses of current theoretical and experimental research. The research team of the Key Laboratory of Mechanical Behavior and Design of Materials at the University of Science and Technology of China used theoretical analysis and molecular simulation methods to study the mechanism of water transport in nanochannels. It was found that the interaction of solid and liquid at the molecular scale will increase the driving force for water transport, which greatly improves the Water transport efficiency.

Recently, international authoritative academic journal "Nature" published the results. Wang Fengchao, the co-author of the paper and the associate researcher of China University of Science and Technology, said that the study not only has a significant impact on understanding and understanding of the fluid transport mechanism at the nanometer scale, but also has important reference significance for the design and development of new nanofluidic devices. Expand the application of two-dimensional materials such as graphene in seawater desalination and gas separation.

“There are many nanometer-sized channels in human life. If we can develop bionic devices, it will have significant medical significance. This is one of our current research directions.” Wang Fengchao said. (Reporter Xu Haitao)

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