Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 787–791 | Cite as

The end of nanochannels

  • Thomas B. Sisan
  • Seth LichterEmail author
Short Communication


Current theories of nanochannel flow impose no upper bound on flow rates, and predict friction through nanochannels can be vanishingly small. We reassess neglecting channel entry effects in extremely long channels and find violations at the nanoscale. Even in frictionless nanochannels, end effects provide a finite amount of friction. Hence, the speed at which nanochannels transport liquids is limited. Flow-rate and slip-length measurements are reevaluated using calculations which include end-effect friction. End effects are critical for the design of new technological devices and to understand biological transport.


Nanoscale fluid flow Nanotubes Aquaporin 



Mark Johnson provided insight into flows through biological pores. Mitra Hartmann and Alphonso Mondragon provided editorial assistance. This study was funded by a generous grant from the A. K. Barlow foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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