Nanochannel with uniform and janus surfaces: Shear thinning and thickening in surfactant solution

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19 Citations (Scopus)


On basis of molecular simulation of confined surfactant solutions, we show that by adding chemical patterns on the inner surface of nanochannels dynamical properties of the confined surfactant solutions could be modified from shear thinning to shear thickening. To this end, we select uniformly hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces as well as a stripe-patterned Janus surface as three prototype confining surfaces of nanochannels. In all three nanochannels, when the surfactant solution is under relatively low shear rates, it shears thin. Under moderate shear rates, a sharp decrease in the shear viscosity could occur due to surfactant morphology transition. Under relatively high shear rates, a shear-thinning-to-thickening transition can emerge due to the tendency of stratification normal to the confining surface. Our simulation study offers a guide to steering dynamic properties of surfactant fluids in nanofluidic devices through engineering surfaces of nanochannels by design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2866-2872
Number of pages7
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb 7

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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