Electrokinetics in planar nanofluidic channels

Monday, December 7, 2009 - 10:50am - 11:30am
EE/CS 3-180
Sumita Pennathur (University of California)
Keywords: electrokinetics, nanofluidics, possion-boltzmann, TIRFM

Abstract: The advent of nanofabrication technologies allows for the development of robust nanoconfined fluidic channels. In this talk I will outline some recent advances and challenges in our research program aimed at elucidating linear and nonlinear electrokinetic phenomena within such channels. First, I will present a combined theoretical and experimental study of the dissolution of fused silica nanofluidic channels when subject to pressure driven flow of aqueous solutions. Time sensitive current measurements within these channels allow for determination of the dissolution rate from the classic linear Poisson-Boltzmann equations for fluid flow and Gouy-Chapman-Stern-Grahame charge regulation model for the surface boundary conditions. Next, I will describe a novel total internal reflectance microscopy (TIRFM) system we have developed and recent experimental results towards to the elucidation of coupled nanofluidic electrokinetic systems, namely, the addition of finite sized charged quantum dots and/or biomolecules on the order of the size of the channel. Finally, I will discuss some experimental nonlinear electric-field dependent phenomena observed around metal electrodes within a nanofluidic channel.