Nanoscale hydrodynamics: enhanced flow in carbon nanotubes

Nature. 2005 Nov 3;438(7064):44. doi: 10.1038/43844a.


Nanoscale structures that could mimic the selective transport and extraordinarily fast flow possible in biological cellular channels would have a wide range of potential applications. Here we show that liquid flow through a membrane composed of an array of aligned carbon nanotubes is four to five orders of magnitude faster than would be predicted from conventional fluid-flow theory. This high fluid velocity results from an almost frictionless interface at the carbon-nanotube wall.

MeSH terms

  • Aquaporins / metabolism
  • Biomimetic Materials / chemistry
  • Biomimetic Materials / metabolism*
  • Biomimetics
  • Friction
  • Hydrogen Bonding
  • Kinetics
  • Microfluidics / methods*
  • Nanotubes, Carbon / chemistry*
  • Viscosity


  • Aquaporins
  • Nanotubes, Carbon