Transport and Dispersion of Nanoparticles in Periodic Nanopost Arrays

Kai He, Scott T. Retterer, Bernadeta R. Srijanto, Jacinta C. Conrad, Ramanan Krishnamoorti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Nanoparticles transported through highly confined porous media exhibit faster breakthrough than small molecule tracers. Despite important technological applications in advanced materials, human health, energy, and environment, the microscale mechanisms leading to early breakthrough have not been identified. Here, we measure dispersion of nanoparticles at the single-particle scale in regular arrays of nanoposts and show that for highly confined flows of dilute suspensions of nanoparticles the longitudinal and transverse velocities exhibit distinct scaling behaviors. The distributions of transverse particle velocities become narrower and more non-Gaussian when the particles are strongly confined. As a result, the transverse dispersion of highly confined nanoparticles at low Péclet numbers is significantly less important than longitudinal dispersion, leading to early breakthrough. This finding suggests a fundamental mechanism by which to control dispersion and thereby improve efficacy of nanoparticles applied for advanced polymer nanocomposites, drug delivery, hydrocarbon production, and environmental remediation. © 2014 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4221-4227
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 22 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1-018-02
Acknowledgements: This publication is based on work supported in part by Award No. KUS-C1-018-02, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). R.K. and K.H. acknowledge the partial support of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (Consortium for Ocean Leadership Grant SA 12-05/GoMRI-002). J.C.C. is supported by the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (52537-DNI7) and the National Science Foundation (DMR-1151133). A portion of this research was conducted at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, which is sponsored at Oak Ridge National Laboratory by the Scientific User Facilities Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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