Electrokinetic ion transport and fluid flow in a pH-regulated polymer-grafted nanochannel filled with power-law fluid
In this article, we have discussed extensively electrokinetic ion transport and fluid flow through a slit polymer-grafted nanochannel filled with power-law fluid. The rigid walls of the channel are coated with the ion and fluid penetrable polymer layer containing a pH-regulated zwitterionic functional group (e.g., succinoglycan). The mathematical model is based on the non-linear Poisson–Boltzmann equation for electric double layer potential and the flow field within the polymer layer is governed by a modified Darcy–Brinkman equation; the Cauchy momentum equation governs the fluid flow outside of the polymer layer along with the equation of continuity for incompressible fluid. In order to consider a wide range of pertinent parameters, we adopt a finite difference based numerical tool to solve the coupled set of governing equations. We have analyzed several interesting features of electrokinetic transport phenomena through such a polymer-grafted nanochannel for a wide range of electrostatic and hydrodynamic properties of the polymer layer, parameters describing the non-Newtonian rheology of the background fluid, and the pH and concentration of the bulk electrolyte. In addition, we have also illustrated the ionic current across the undertaken nanochannel and observed that it can be either cation selective, anion selective or non-selective, depending on the critical choice of the pertinent parameters.