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Issue 25, 2018
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Efficient electrochemomechanical energy conversion in nanochannels grafted with end-charged polyelectrolyte brushes at medium and high salt concentration

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Abstract

We develop a theory to study the generation of the streaming potential and the resulting electrochemomechanical energy conversion (ECMEC) in the presence of pressure-driven transport in nanochannels grafted with end-charged polyelectrolyte (PE) brushes. Our theory gives 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 leads to 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.

Graphical abstract: Efficient electrochemomechanical energy conversion in nanochannels grafted with end-charged polyelectrolyte brushes at medium and high salt concentration

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Article information


Submitted
13 Apr 2018
Accepted
15 May 2018
First published
16 May 2018

Soft Matter, 2018,14, 5246-5255
Article type
Paper

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, 14, 5246
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00768C

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