Nonlinear viscoelastic dynamics of nanoconfined wetting liquids

Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Mar 14;100(10):106102. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.106102. Epub 2008 Mar 13.


The viscoelastic dynamics of nanoconfined wetting liquids is studied by means of atomic force microscopy. We observe a nonlinear viscoelastic behavior remarkably similar to that widely observed in metastable complex fluids. We show that the origin of the measured nonlinear viscoelasticity in nanoconfined water and silicon oil is a strain rate dependent relaxation time and slow dynamics. By measuring the viscoelastic modulus at different frequencies and strains, we find that the intrinsic relaxation time of nanoconfined water is in the range 0.1-0.0001 s, orders of magnitude longer than that of bulk water, and comparable to the dielectric relaxation time measured in supercooled water at 170-210 K.