Nanotube Active Water Pump Driven by Alternating Hydrophobicity

Noriyoshi Arai, Takahiro Koishi, Toshikazu Ebisuzaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Water transport must be efficiency controlled for the future sustainability of life. Various water transport systems using carbon nanotubes have been proposed in recent years. Although these systems are more permeable than aquaporins, their water transport is passive. In this study, we successfully demonstrate an active water pump driven by simple hydrophobic interaction through computer simulation. Even in the absence of a pressure- or density-gradient, the proposed pump can actively transport water molecules by alternately switching the hydrophobicity of the pump surface. The water transport rate can be easily controlled by varying the time interval of switching. The pump with optimized switching time exhibits prominent water permeance. The results obtained herein can be applied in various water transport technologies because of the simple mechanics. The proposed water pump has the potential to realize an effective device such as a low-energy artificial purification system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2481-2489
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb 23


  • active pump
  • decorated solid surface
  • functionalized carbon nanotube
  • hydrophobic interaction
  • molecular simulation
  • water transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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