Van der Waals-Zeeman Colloquium

Tuesday, 9 March 2010, 16:00

Fluidics with Nanoporous Solid-State Membranes: From Fundamental Physics to Applied Biology

Dr. Patrick Huber
Saarland University

Transport of fluids across tiny pores plays a crucial role in phenomena ranging from clay swelling, frost heave, oil recovery and catalysis, to colloidal stability, protein folding and transport in cells and tissues. The advent of tailorable nano- and mesoporous membranes, most prominently arrays of carbon nanotube bundles, of silicon, silica and alumina channels, has led to a growing interest in the transport phenomenology across this kind of nanostructures. After a short introduction into this sub-field of nanofluidics, I will present experiments on pressure-driven (forced imbibition) and self-propelled (capillarity-driven, spontaneous imbibition) transport of fluids in nanochannels and will highlight differences between nanoscopic and macroscopic transport principles. Finally, I will elucidate how protein translocation experiments across artificial nanochannel arrays may allow the exploration of the transport machinery at biomembranes.