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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Sep 9;95(11):116104. Epub 2005 Sep 8.

Streaming currents in a single nanofluidic channel.

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Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Delft University of Technology, Lorentzweg 1, 2628 CJ Delft, The Netherlands.


We report measurements of the streaming current, an electrical current generated by a pressure-driven liquid flow, in individual rectangular silica nanochannels down to 70 nm in height. The streaming current is observed to be proportional to the pressure gradient and increases with the channel height. As a function of salt concentration, it is approximately constant below approximately 10 mM, whereas it strongly decreases at higher salt. Changing the sign of the surface charge is found to reverse the streaming current. The data are best modeled using a nonlinear Poisson-Boltzmann theory that includes the salt-dependent hydration state of the silica surface.

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