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Nanorheology of Interfacial Water during Ice Gliding
L. Canale, J. Comtet, A. Niguès, C. Cohen, C. Clanet, A. Siria, and L. Bocquet
Phys. Rev. E - - doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevX.9.041025 - 2019
The slipperiness of ice is an everyday-life phenomenon, which, surprisingly, remains controversial despite a long scientific history. The very small friction measured on ice is classically attributed to the presence of a thin self-lubricating film of meltwater between the slider and the ice. But while the macroscale friction behavior of ice and snow has been widely investigated, very little is known about the interfacial water film and its mechanical properties. In this work, we develop a stroke-probe force measurement technique to uncover the microscopic mechanisms underlying ice lubrication. We simultaneously measure the shear friction of a bead on ice and quantify the in situ mechanical properties of the interfacial film, as well as its thickness, under various regimes of speed and temperature. In contrast with standard views, meltwater is found to exhibit a complex viscoelastic rheology, with a viscosity up to 2 orders of magnitude larger than pristine water. The unconventional rheology of meltwater provides a new, consistent, rationale for ice slipperiness. Hydrophobic coatings are furthermore shown to strongly reduce friction due to a surprising change in the local viscosity, providing an unexpected explanation for waxing effects in winter sports. Beyond ice friction, our results suggest new avenues towards self-healing lubricants to achieve ultralow friction.
Entrance Effects in Concentration-Gradient-Driven Flow Through an Ultrathin Porous Membrane
Daniel J. Rankin, Lydéric Bocquet, David M. Huang
J. Chem. Phys - 151 44705 - DOI:10.1063/1.5108700 - 2019
Transport of liquid mixtures through porous membranes is central to processes such as desalination, chemical separations and energy harvesting, with ultrathin membranes made from novel 2D nanomaterials showing exceptional promise. Here we derive, for the first time, general equations for the solution and solute fluxes through a circular pore in an ultrathin planar membrane induced by a solute concentration gradient. We show that the equations accurately capture the fluid fluxes measured in finite-element numerical simulations for weak solute-membrane interactions. We also derive scaling laws for these fluxes as a function of the pore size and the strength and range of solute-membrane interactions. These scaling relationships differ markedly from those for concentration-gradient-driven flow through a long cylindrical pore or for flow induced by a pressure gradient or electric field through a pore in an ultrathin membrane. These results have broad implications for transport of liquid mixtures through membranes with a thickness on the order of the characteristic pore size.
Osmosis, from molecular insights to large-scale applications
Sophie Marbach, Lyderic Bocquet
Phys. Chem. - 48 3102-3144 - DOI:10.1039/C8CS00420J - 2019
Osmosis is a universal phenomenon occurring in a broad variety of processes and fields. It is the archetype of entropic forces, both trivial in its fundamental expression - the van 't Hoff perfect gas law - and highly subtle in its physical roots. While osmosis is intimately linked with transport across membranes, it also manifests itself as an interfacial transport phenomenon: the so-called diffusio-osmosis and -phoresis, whose consequences are presently actively explored for example for the manipulation of colloidal suspensions or the development of active colloidal swimmers. Here we give a global and unifying view of the phenomenon of osmosis and its consequences with a multi-disciplinary perspective. Pushing the fundamental understanding of osmosis allows to propose new perspectives for different fields and we highlight a number of examples along these lines, for example introducing the concepts of osmotic diodes, active separation and far from equilibrium osmosis, raising in turn fundamental questions in the thermodynamics of separation. The applications of osmosis are also obviously considerable and span very diverse fields. Here we discuss a selection of phenomena and applications where osmosis shows great promises: osmotic phenomena in membrane science (with recent developments in separation, desalination, reverse osmosis for water purification thanks in particular to the emergence of new nanomaterials); applications in biology and health (in particular discussing the kidney filtration process); osmosis and energy harvesting (in particular, osmotic power and blue energy as well as capacitive mixing); applications in detergency and cleaning, as well as for oil recovery in porous media.
Atomic rheology of gold nanojunctions
Jean Comtet, Antoine Lainé, Antoine Niguès, Lydéric Bocquet & Alessandro Siria
Nature - 569 393–397 - DOI : 10.1038/s41586-019-1178-3 - 2019
Despite extensive investigations of dissipation and deformation processes in micro- and nano-sized metallic samples1,2,3,4,5,6,7, the mechanisms at play during the deformation of systems with ultimate (molecular) size remain unknown. Although metallic nanojunctions, which are obtained by stretching metallic wires down to the atomic level, are typically used to explore atomic-scale contacts5,8,9,10,11, it has not been possible until now to determine the full equilibrium and non-equilibrium rheological flow properties of matter at such scales. Here, by using an atomic-force microscope equipped with a quartz tuning fork, we combine electrical and rheological measurements on ångström-size gold junctions to study the non-linear rheology of this model atomic system. By subjecting the junction to increasing subnanometric deformations we observe a transition from a purely elastic regime to a plastic one, and eventually to a viscous-like fluidized regime, similar to the rheology of soft yielding materials12,13,14, although orders of magnitude different in length scale. The fluidized state furthermore exhibits capillary attraction, as expected for liquid capillary bridges. This shear fluidization cannot be captured by classical models of friction between atomic planes15,16 and points to an unexpected dissipative behaviour of defect-free metallic junctions at ultimate scales. Atomic rheology is therefore a powerful tool that can be used to probe the structural reorganization of atomic contacts.

Ionic Coulomb blockade as a fractional Wien effect
Nikita Kavokine, Sophie Marbach, Alessandro Siria & Lydéric Bocquet
Nat. Nanotechnol. - 14 573–578 - - 2019
Recent advances in nanofluidics have allowed the exploration of ion transport down to molecular-scale confinement, yet artificial porins are still far from reaching the advanced functionalities of biological ion machinery. Achieving single ion transport that is tunable by an external gate—the ionic analogue of electronic Coulomb blockade—would open new avenues in this quest. However, an understanding of ionic Coulomb blockade beyond the electronic analogy is still lacking. Here, we show that the many-body dynamics of ions in a charged nanochannel result in quantized and strongly nonlinear ionic transport, in full agreement with molecular simulations. We find that ionic Coulomb blockade occurs when, upon sufficient confinement, oppositely charged ions form ‘Bjerrum pairs’, and the conduction proceeds through a mechanism reminiscent of Onsager’s Wien effect. Our findings open the way to novel nanofluidic functionalities, such as an ion pump based on ionic Coulomb blockade, inspired by its electronic counterpart.
Molecular streaming and its voltage control in ångström-scale channels
Timothée Mouterde, Anthony R. Poggioli, Ashok Keerthi, Shafat Hussain Dar
Nature - 567(7746) 87-90 - DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-0961-5 - 2019
Over the past decade, the ability to reduce the dimensions of fluidic devices to the nanometre scale (by using nanotubes1–5 or nanopores6–11, for example) has led to the discovery of unexpected water- and ion-transport phenomena12–14. More recently, van der Waals assembly of two-dimensional materials¹⁵ has allowed the creation of artificial channels with ångström-scale precision¹⁶. Such channels push fluid confinement to the molecular scale, wherein the limits of continuum transport equations¹⁷ are challenged. Water films on this scale can rearrange into one or two layers with strongly suppressed dielectric permittivity18,19 or form a room-temperature ice phase²⁰. Ionic motion in such confined channels²¹ is affected by direct interactions between the channel walls and the hydration shells of the ions, and water transport becomes strongly dependent on the channel wall material²². We explore how water and ionic transport are coupled in such confinement. Here we report measurements of ionic fluid transport through molecular-sized slit-like channels. The transport, driven by pressure and by an applied electric field, reveals a transistor-like electrohydrodynamic effect. An applied bias of a fraction of a volt increases the measured pressure-driven ionic transport (characterized by streaming mobilities) by up to 20 times. This gating effect is observed in both graphite and hexagonal boron nitride channels but exhibits marked material-dependent differences. We use a modified continuum framework accounting for the material-dependent frictional interaction of water molecules, ions and the confining surfaces to explain the differences observed between channels made of graphene and hexagonal boron nitride. This highly nonlinear gating of fluid transport under molecular-scale confinement may offer new routes to control molecular and ion transport, and to explore electromechanical couplings that may have a role in recently discovered mechanosensitive ionic channels²³.
Beyond the Trade-Off: Dynamic Selectivity in Ionic Transport and Current Rectification
A. Poggioli, A. Siria, L. Bocquet
Phys. Chem. - 123.5 1171-1185 - doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcb.8b11202 - 2019
Traditionally, ion selectivity in nanopores and nanoporous membranes is understood to be a consequence of Debye overlap, in which the Debye screening length is comparable to the nanopore radius somewhere along the length of the nanopore(s). This criterion sets a significant limitation on the size of ion-selective nanopores, as the Debye length is on the order of 1–10 nm for typical ionic concentrations. However, the analytical results we present here demonstrate that surface conductance generates a dynamical selectivity in ion transport, and this selectivity is controlled by so-called Dukhin, rather than Debye, overlap. The Dukhin length, defined as the ratio of surface to bulk conductance, reaches values of hundreds of nanometers for typical surface charge densities and ionic concentrations, suggesting the possibility of designing large-nanopore (10–100 nm), high-conductance membranes exhibiting significant ion selectivity. Such membranes would have potentially dramatic implications for the efficiency of osmotic energy conversion and separation techniques. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this mechanism of dynamic selectivity leads ultimately to the rectification of ionic current, rationalizing previous studies, showing that Debye overlap is not a necessary condition for the occurrence of rectifying behavior in nanopores.
Nanorheology of Interfacial Water during Ice Gliding
Canale L., Comtet J., Nigu es A., Cohen C., Clanet C., Siria A., Bocquet L.
Nano Lett. - 19(10) 7265-7272 - doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b02858 - 2019
Ionic current measurements through solid-state nanopores consistently show a power spectral density that scales as 1/f α at low frequency f, with an exponent α ∼ 0.5–1.5, but strikingly, the physical origin of this behavior remains elusive. Here, we perform simulations of particles reversibly adsorbing at the surface of a nanopore and show that the fluctuations in the number of adsorbed particles exhibit low-frequency pink noise. We furthermore propose theoretical modeling for the time-dependent adsorption of particles on the nanopore surface for various geometries, which predicts a frequency spectrum in very good agreement with the simulation results. Altogether, our results highlight that the low-frequency noise takes its origin in the reversible adsorption of ions at the pore surface combined with the long-lasting excursions of the ions in the reservoirs. The scaling regime of the power spectrum extends down to a cutoff frequency which is far smaller than simple diffusion estimates. Using realistic values for the pore dimensions and the adsorption–desorption kinetics, this predicts the observation of pink noise for frequencies down to the hertz for a typical solid-state nanopore, in good agreement with experiments.
Gradients of Rac1 nanoclusters support spatial patterns of Rac1 signaling
Amanda Remorino, Simon De Beco, Fanny Cayrac, Fahima Di Federico, Gaetan Cornilleau, Alexis Gautreau, Maria Carla Parrini, Jean-Baptiste Masson, Maxime Dahan, Mathieu Coppey
Cell Reports - 21(7) 1922-1935 - DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.10.069 - 2019
Rac1 is a small RhoGTPase switch that orchestrates actin branching in space and time and protrusion/retraction cycles of the lamellipodia at the cell front during mesenchymal migration. Biosensor imaging has revealed a graded concentration of active GTP-loaded Rac1 in protruding regions of the cell. Here, using single-molecule imaging and super-resolution microscopy, we show an additional supramolecular organization of Rac1. We find that Rac1 partitions and is immobilized into nanoclusters of 50-100 molecules each. These nanoclusters assemble because of the interaction of the polybasic tail of Rac1 with the phosphoinositide lipids PIP2 and PIP3. The additional interactions with GEFs and possibly GAPs, downstream effectors, and other partners are responsible for an enrichment of Rac1 nanoclusters in protruding regions of the cell. Our results show that subcellular patterns of Rac1 activity are supported by gradients of signaling nanodomains of heterogeneous molecular composition, which presumably act as discrete signaling platforms.
Gradients of Rac1 nanoclusters support spatial patterns of Rac1 signaling
El Beheiry, Mohamed Doutreligne, Sébastien Caporal, Clément Ostertag, Cécilia et al.
journal article - 431(7) 1315-1321 - - 2019
Virtual reality (VR) has recently become an affordable technology. A wide range of options are available to access this unique visualization medium, from simple cardboard inserts for smartphones to truly advanced headsets tracked by external sensors. While it is now possible for any research team to gain access to VR, we can still question what it brings to scientific research. Visualization and the ability to navigate complex three-dimensional data are undoubtedly a gateway to many scientific applications; however, we are convinced that data treatment and numerical simulations, especially those mixing interactions with data, human cognition, and automated algorithms will be the future of VR in scientific research. Moreover, VR might soon merit the same level of attention to imaging data as machine learning currently has. In this short perspective, we discuss approaches that employ VR in scientific research based on some concrete examples.

410 publications.