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The fountain effect of ice-like water across nanotubes at room temperature

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Abstract

The well-known fountain effect of superfluid helium can directly convert heat to mechanical work by the transport of the superfluid across narrow channels under a temperature difference. But it is regarded as a unique feature of superfluids, only occurring below the temperature of 2.17 K. Here we report a peculiar fountain effect of ice-like water across nanotubes at room temperature. Based on molecular simulations, we observed fascinating ultrafast fountain flow across nanotubes from the cold side to the hot side under a small temperature difference, due to the near-dissipationless nature of ice-like ordered water inside the nanotubes. Water molecules exhibit collective behavior and spontaneously convert thermal energy from the surrounding into directed motion without dissipation. A surprising pressure difference of up to 256 bar is generated from a temperature difference of 23 K, almost reaching the thermodynamic limit. This finding is anticipated to provide a new protocol for power harvesting devices, heat engines and nanomotors.

Graphical abstract: The fountain effect of ice-like water across nanotubes at room temperature

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Jul 2017, accepted on 13 Sep 2017 and first published on 13 Sep 2017


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP04693F
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, Advance Article
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    The fountain effect of ice-like water across nanotubes at room temperature

    K. Zhao and H. Wu, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7CP04693F

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