Molecular dynamics simulations are carried out to study the pressure driven fluid flow of water through single walled carbon nanotubes. A method for the calculation of viscosity of the confined fluid based on the Eyring theory of reaction rates is proposed. The method involves the calculation of the activation energy directly from the molecular dynamics trajectory information. Computations are performed using this method to study the effect of surface curvature on the confined fluid viscosity. The results indicate that the viscosity varies nonlinearly with the carbon nanotube diameter. It is concluded that the reason behind the observed enhancement in the rate of fluid flow through carbon nanotubes could be the nonlinear variation of viscosity.
Jeetu S. Babu and Sarith P. Sathian, “The role of activation energy and reduced viscosity on the enhancement of water flow through carbon nanotubes”, Journal of Chemical Physics, vol. 134, p. 194509, 2011.