Effect of interfacial vibrational coupling on surface wettability and water transport

Y Noh and NR Aluru, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 106, 025106 (2022).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.106.025106

We report that the atomic-scale vibrational coupling at the solid-fluid interface can substantially alter the interfacial properties such as wettability and fluid slip. The wettability of water droplets on substrates subjected to various vibrational frequencies is studied using molecular dynamics simulation. The contact angle increases (i.e., becomes more hydrophobic) when the oscillation frequency of the substrate matches the intermolecular bending frequency of liquid water. We investigate the underlying mechanism by examining the dynamics of water molecules at the interface and find that the temporal contact between the solid and fluid is shorter when the frequencies match, resulting in weak solid-fluid adsorption. We further report that the vibrational match at the interface reduces wall-fluid friction and enhances water transport through the nanopore. Our findings demonstrate the importance of the atomic-scale vibrational coupling at the solid- fluid interface on the physicochemical behavior of nanodevices and biological nanochannels.

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