Effect of Size and Temperature on Water Dynamics inside Carbon Nano-Tubes Studied by Molecular Dynamics Simulation
Water transport inside carbon nano-tubes (CNTs) has attracted considerable attention due to its nano-fluidic properties, its importance in nonporous systems, and the wide range of applications in membrane desalination and biological medicine. Recent studies show an enhancement of water diffusion inside nano-channels depending on the size of the nano-confinement. However, the underlying mechanism of this enhancement is not well understood yet. In this study, we performed Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations to study water flow inside CNT systems. The length of CNTs considered in this study is 20 nm, but their diameters vary from 1 to 10 nm. The simulations are conducted at temperatures ranging from 260 K to 320 K. We observe that water molecules are arranged into coaxial water tubular sheets. The number of these tubular sheets depends on the CNT size. Further analysis reveals that the diffusion of water molecules along the CNT axis deviates from the Arrhenius temperature dependence. The non-Arrhenius relationship results from a fragile liquid-like water component persisting at low temperatures with fragility higher than that of the bulk water.