Induction and measurement of minute flow rates through nanopipes

Shashank Sinha, Maria Pia Rossi, D Mattia, Yury Gogotsi, Haim H Bau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (SciVal)


A simple technique to simultaneously induce fluid flow through an individual nanopipe and measure the flow rate and the pressure difference across the pipe is described. Two liq. drops of different sizes are positioned at the two ends of the nanopipe. Due to the higher capillary pressure of the smaller drop, flow is driven from the smaller drop to the bigger drop. The instantaneous pressures of the two drops are estd. from the drops' shapes and sizes. The flow rate is estd. by monitoring the sizes of the drops as functions of time with a microscope and a video camera. A theory that correlates the drops' sizes and the flow rate is derived. Measurements are carried out with an ionic salt and glycerin to est. the effective tube radius of the nanopipes with diams. ranging from 200 to 300 nm. The tubes' diams. are independently measured with a scanning electron microscope. The method is also verified by tracking the motion of fluorescent particles through the nanopipe. The paper provides a simple technique for studying extremely low flow rates in nanofluidic systems. When working with low-evapn. fluids such as ionic salts, the measurements can be carried out with an electron microscope.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)013603/1-013603/8
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Flow (visualization
  • Nanostructured materials (nanopipes
  • Drops (induction and measurement of minute flow rates through nanopipes)
  • induction measurement flow rate nanopipe
  • Capillary pressure
  • induction and measurement of minute flow rates through nanopipes)


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