Nanoassembling for soft matter : fluidics and tribology at the nanoscale

Alessandro Siria (Laboratoire de Physique Statistique, ENS Paris) — March 12, 2015

New models of fluid transport are expected to emerge from the confinement of liquids at the nanoscale, where the behaviour of matter strongly departs from common expectations. This is the field of Nanofluidics : taking inspiration from the solutions found by evolved biological systems, new functionalities will emerge from the nanometre scale, with potential applications in ultrafiltration, desalination and energy conversion.
One expects that, in analogy to other fields of nanophysics such as nanoelectronics and nanophotonics, also for nanofluidics the role of surfaces, interfaces and fluctuations should become more and more important overshadowing the impact of the bulk to the fluid transport. Nevertheless, advancing our fundamental understanding of fluid transport at the smallest scales requires mass and ion dynamics to be ultimately characterized across channels with dimensions close to the molecular size. A major challenge for nanofluidics thus lies in building distinct and well-controlled nanochannels, amenable to the systematic exploration of their properties.
In this talk we will discuss on how using nanostructures like building blocks makes possible the realization of a new class of experimental devices for the systematic study of soft matter at the nanoscale. By using a hierarchical nanofluidic device made of an individual transmembrane nanotube we will perform a detailed study of fluidic transport through a single nanotube under diverse forces, including electric fields, pressure drops and chemical gradients. We will point out how the fluid-solid interface governs the transport in nano channels and how tuning the surface properties may lead to new tools that can profit of exotic behavior of fluid at nanoscale
In a different context we will show how the nano assembling route is a key asset for the the study of friction at the nanoscale. In particular by studying the interlayer dissipation in individual nanotubes made of different material we will show the key role of phononic contribution to the friction at the nanoscale.

Biography : Après des études à l’université de Gênes en Italie, Alessandro Siria, 32 ans, a obtenu son doctorat de physique à L’institut Néel en 2009. En 2011, intègre le CNRS en tant que chargé de recherche à l’Institut Lumière Matière de Lyon. En Janvier 2015, Alessandro Siria intègre le Laboratoire de Physique Statique de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris. Sa recherche est à l’interface entre plusieurs domaines : Physique de l’état solide, nanoscience et matière molle. Il développe des systèmes expérimentaux uniques dans le but d’étudier la physique à l’échelle nanométrique. Après avoir été formé à la mesure précise des forces de surface, il s’intéresse maintenant aux aspects plus fondamentaux de la matière molle.

You can also watch this video on the multimedia site ENS : savoirs.ens.fr