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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Feb 24;108(8):084501. Epub 2012 Feb 23.

Crossover from hydrodynamics to the kinetic regime in confined nanoflows.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


We present an experimental study of a confined nanoflow, which is generated by a sphere oscillating in the proximity of a flat solid wall in a simple fluid. Varying the oscillation frequency, the confining length scale, and the fluid mean free path over a broad range provides a detailed map of the flow. We use this experimental map to construct a scaling function, which describes the nanoflow in the entire parameter space, including both the hydrodynamic and the kinetic regimes. Our scaling function unifies previous theories based on the slip boundary condition and the effective viscosity.

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