Project Overview

NIRT: Nanotube-Based Nanofluidic Devices and Fundamental Fluid Studies at the Nanoscale

# 0609062
Yury Gogotsi (Principal Investigator)
Haim Bau (Co-Principal Investigator)
Gennady Friedman (Co-Principal Investigator)
Constantine Megaridis (Co-Principal Investigator)
Alexander Yarin (Co-Principal Investigator)

This proposal was received in response to Nanoscale Science and Engineering initiative, NSF 05-610, category NIRT. This project proposes to develop active nanotube-based devices for fundamental studies of the behavior of multiphase fluids within cylindrical channels of nanotubes and nanopipes with diameters ranging from 1 to 300 nm. In turn, these fundamental studies will enable the rational design and optimization of nanofluidic devices whose operation relies on fluid transport and phase transitions at scales approaching molecular dimensions. This research will join six faculty members from the fields of materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computational science, in a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional (Drexel University, University of Pennsylvania (Penn), University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)) approach. The work will combine expertise of researchers in microfabrication, fluid thermophysics, nanostructured carbon materials, magnetism, and molecular dynamics into a synergistic program. The main objectives of the proposed work are: (1) Fabrication of nanotubes and hollow nanofibers, and modification of their surface properties; (2) Construction of nanotube-based devices that allow in situ transmission and scanning electron microscopy investigations of physical processes occurring liquids; (3) Addressing experimentally and computationally fundamental questions in nanoscale fluid physics; (4) Using nanotube-based devices to study solute-surface and liquid-liquid interactions in confined geometries, with nanoscale resolution; (5) Demonstrate the fabrication and use of nanotube-based active devices as cellular probes, nano-syringes, site-specific drug delivery systems, sensors, and a factory-on-a-chip.

With respect to Broader Impacts, the NIRT program will encourage the involvement of undergraduate students and strengthen links with industry. The proposers will develop an education program featuring high-school internships, research experiences for undergraduates, and a student/faculty exchange with a leading European university. The research results and experimental techniques developed in this program will be integrated into classroom instruction.

Source: NSF