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NanoFluidic Systems (NFS)

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Mass Networks

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Mass transport within and between nanochannels is a promising approach for continuously feeding small numbers of atoms in a controllable fashion and it does not appear that a theoretical limit exists that keeps this from being extended to individual atoms. Combining this feeding technique with a positioning mechanism, e.g., nanorobotic manipulators, deposited atoms can be positioned from a continuous source. A fluidic system with multiple channels can serve as a mass network to provide a variety of atoms for positioning and connection. An example of a manufacturing system is schematically shown below where the mass network resembles the Internet for information. Nanofluidic mass networks connect the sources of various atoms to the clients.

 

 

 

[JP64]

L. X. Dong, X. Y. Tao, L. Zhang, X. B. Zhang, and B. J. Nelson, Plumbing the Depths of the Nanometer Scale: Attogram Mass Transport via NanochannelsIEEE Nanotechnology Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 13-22, March 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NanoFluidic Junctions

 

 

 

 

The most fundamental element in a nanofluidic system is the nanochannel, which can be defined as a channel with at least one cross section smaller than 100 nm. One method of creating nanochannels is through a bottom-up approach in which nanofluidic systems of the future could be built by assembling as-synthesized or as-fabricated building blocks such as channels, valves, pumps, mixers, separators, sensors, actuators, etc. To construct nanofluidic systems, interconnection of individual nanochannels is needed, where nanofluidic junctions serve as fundamental fluidic elements.

 

 

 

 

[JP49]

L. X. Dong, X. Y. Tao, M. Hamdi, L. Zhang, X. B. Zhang, A. Ferreira, and B. J. Nelson, Nanotube Fluidic Junctions: Inter-nanotube Attogram Mass Transport Through WallsNano Letters, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 210-214, Jan. 2009.

 

 

 

[IC84]

L. X. Dong, X. Y. Tao, L. Zhang, X. B. Zhang, and B. J. Nelson, Metal-filled Carbon Nanotubes for Nanofluidic Systems: Modes of Melting and Evaporation,Proc. of IEEE/RSJ 2009 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2009), St. Louis, MO, USA, Oct. 11-15, 2009. (Invited)

 

 

 

[IC78]

L. X. Dong, X. Y. Tao, L. Zhang, X. B. Zhang, and B. J. Nelson, Metal-filled Carbon Nanotubes for NanoMechatronics, Proc. of the 2008 IEEE/ASME Int'l Conf. on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM2008), pp. 933-937, Xi'an, China, July 2-5, 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NanoEvaporators

 

 

 

 

Controlled copper evaporation at attogram level from individual carbon nanotube (CNT) vessels, which we call nanotube boilers, is investigated experimentally and theoretically. We compared the evaporation modes induced by electric current, Joule heating, charge, and ionization in these CNT boilers, which can serve as sources for mass transport and deposition in nanofluidic systems. Experiments and molecular dynamics simulations show that the most effective method for evaporation is by positively ionizing the encapsulated copper; therefore, an electrostatic field can be used to guide the flow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[JP55]

L. X. Dong, X. Y. Tao, M. Hamdi, L. Zhang, X. B. Zhang, A. Ferreira, and B. J. Nelson, Nanotube Boiler: Attogram Copper Evaporation Driven by Electric Current, Joule Heating, Charge, and IonizationIEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology, Vol. 8, No. 5, pp. 565-568, Sept. 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mass Flow Using a Nanotube

 

 

 

Controlled melting and flowing of copper and beta-tin inside nanotube shells are realized by applying bias voltages (1.5 - 2.5 V) or exposing under high-energy electron beams. The average mass flow rate of the copper was found to be 120 ag/s according to TEM video imaging (measured visually at approximately 11.6 nm/s through the CNT). The mass flow rate of the Sn ranged from 0.9 to 8.2 fg/s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[JP38]

L. X. Dong, X. Y. Tao, L. Zhang, X. B. Zhang, and B. J. Nelson, Nanorobotic Spot Welding: Controlled Metal Deposition with Attogram Precision from Copper-filled Carbon NanotubesNano Letters, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 58-63, Jan. 2007.

 

 

 

[JP59]

X. Y. Tao, L. X. Dong, W. K. Zhang, X. B. Zhang, J. P. Cheng, H. Huang, and Y. P. Gan, Controllable Melting and Flow of β-Sn in Flexible Amorphous Carbon NanotubesCarbon, Vol. 47, No.13, pp. 3122-3127, Nov. 2009.

 

 

 

[IC69]

L. X. Dong, X. Y. Tao, L. Zhang, X. B. Zhang, and B. J. Nelson, Nanorobotic Spot Welding by Attogram Precision Metal Deposition from Copper-filled Carbon Nanotubes, Proc. of the 2007 IEEE Int'l Conf. on Robotics & Automation (ICRA2007), pp. 1425-1430, Roma, Italy, April 10-14, 2007.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participants

 

 

 

 

06-11

Lixin Dong

 

 

 

11

Zheng Fan

 

 

 

 

Collaborators

 

 

 

 

06-11

Xinyong Tao (Zhejiang University of Technology)

 

 

 

06-11

Xiaobin Zhang (Zhejiang University)

 

 

 

06-10

Bradley J. Nelson (ETH Zurich)

 

 

 

06-10

Li Zhang (ETH Zurich)

 

 

 

07-09

Antoine Ferreira (ENSI)

 

 

 

07-09

Mustapha Hamdi (ENSI)