Streaming current and wall dissolution over 48h in silica nanochannels

Mathias Bækbo Andersen, Henrik Bruus, Jaydeep P. Bardhan, Sumita Pennathur

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    We present theoretical and experimental studies of the streaming current induced by a pressure-driven flow in long, straight, electrolyte-filled nanochannels. The theoretical work builds on our recent one-dimensional model of electro-osmotic and capillary flow, which self-consistently treats both the ion concentration profiles, via the nonlinear Poisson–Boltzmann equation, and the chemical reactions in the bulk electrolyte and at the solid–liquid interface. We extend this model to two dimensions and validate it against experimental data for electro-osmosis and pressure-driven flows, using eight 1-μm-wide nanochannels of heights varying from 40nm to 2000nm. We furthermore vary the electrolyte composition using KCl and borate salts, and the wall coating using 3-cyanopropyldimethylchlorosilane. We find good agreement between prediction and experiment using literature values for all parameters of the model, i.e., chemical reaction constants and Stern-layer capacitances. Finally, by combining model predictions with measurements over 48h of the streaming currents, we develop a method to estimate the dissolution rate of the silica walls, typically around 0.01mg/m2/h, equal to 45pm/h or 40nm/yr, under controlled experimental conditions.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)262-271
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Cyanosilane surface coating
    • Silica dissolution
    • Nanofluidics
    • Gouy–Chapman–Stern model
    • Streaming current


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