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Efficient Electrochemomechanical Energy Conversion in Nanochannels Grafted with End-charged Polyelectrolyte Brushes at Medium and High Salt Concentration

Abstract

We develop a theory to study the generation of the streaming potential and the resulting electrochemomechanical energy conversion (ECMEC) in presence of a pressure-driven transport in nanochannels grafted with end-charged polyelectrolyte (PE) brushes. Our theory accounts for a thermodynamically self-consistent coupled description of the PE-brush and the electrostatics of the electric double layer (EDL) induced by the PE charges. The end-charged brushes localize the maximum EDL charge density away from the wall, thereby enabling a larger magnitude of pressure-driven transport to stream the ions downstream. This effect is retarded by the drag force imparted by the brushes as well as by the enhanced electroosmotic transport in a direction opposite to the pressure-driven transport. An interplay of these three issues lead to a highly non-trivial electrohydrodynamic transport that eventually allows us to converge on appropriate properties of the brushes (e.g., grafting density and the number of monomers) that lead to the generation of a significantly larger streaming potential and a much improved efficiency of the ECMEC as compared to the brush-free nanochannels particularly at medium and high salt concentrations.

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Apr 2018, accepted on 15 May 2018 and first published on 16 May 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00768C
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Efficient Electrochemomechanical Energy Conversion in Nanochannels Grafted with End-charged Polyelectrolyte Brushes at Medium and High Salt Concentration

    G. Chen, H. S. Sachar and S. Das, Soft Matter, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00768C

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