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Introduction to Nanofluidics

By Susan Sinnott

University of Florida


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    John Phelan

    2.0 out of 5 stars

    Not especialy good approach to getting across the essence of gas transport in tubes: feels like a LOT of detail is missing in between the stepping stones. Author should do a lot more work and testing if this is meant for serious learning.

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    Scott Durski

    3.0 out of 5 stars

    I didn\‘t find that the presentation or reading materials really made much of a difference in answering the quiz questions. Both presentation and reading material left a lot of holes in the discussion. The Rebo example instructions appeared so entirely focused on how to do operations in excel, that I could barely tell what the excercise was really meant to demonstrate.

    I\‘m a total novice to this field, so I did glean some insight into the diffusion processes in nanotubes, but there was nothing within this presentation to really draw any connection to real world applications for me.

    I appreciated the discussion of computational modeling of molecular dynamics but would have liked to see more on the theoretical side explaining the relationship between fluid dynamics on the nanoscale with fluid dynamics at larger scales. This is the direction I\‘m comming at this field from.

    Thanks for your efforts in making this module available!

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    Scott Warren

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    This was the second module I\‘d attempted to go through, but the first with a pretest. I started with the Ballistic Nanotransistors module, which turned out to be a horrible mistake. That\‘s why I can not speak highly enough of the pretest. It allows the student to do three important things at once: find out what the module is about, find key topics he should focus on within the module, and gauge if it is an appropriate module given his prior experience. A quick look at other modules shows that most do not include pretests, and this is a shame. Question three is probably a little too easy, seeing as it covers material presented later in the module and isn\‘t required as background information.

    The main criticism I have for the presentation is that at many times it feels that the slides are meant as aids for a lecture, except the lecture is missing. The second slide, with the shorthand definition of nanofluidics, gives this feeling. Slide three, with more complete explainations, is more like what I would expect from a slideshow where the words have to convey all of the information.

    Slides four and five do a fine job at explaining the different diffusion modes. I like that the anamalous and ballistic modes were included for completion, even though they aren\‘t referenced in the rest of the presentation. I would have liked to see a picture for these, or a few words explaining why they\‘re introduced and then ignored, just out of curiousity.

    Slides six and seven are very straightforward, though I still wonder where the equations for correction come from. Compared to these, I felt that slide eight made a lot of assumptions with how much the student understands about the process. Because the predictor-corrector is already somewhat intriduced by slide seven, and because slides nine and ten talk about the potential calculations, maybe the space at the bottom of slide eight could be used to be a little more in-depth about periodic boundry conditions (a picture would do well) and the theory behind the thermostats and how T is maintained.

    It\‘d be nice if slide nine gave the typical lengths of covalent bonds, as this information is used in one of the test questions. In parenthesis right after \“Used for covalent bonding\” would be ideal. Same thing for slide ten. Other than that, I think these slides are nearly perfect – imformative without going \“too deep\” into the equations. I only wonder if slide ten\‘s space dedicated to Lorentz-Berelot combining rules shouldn\‘t be used to name the epsilon and delta in the equation – Wikipedia tells me that they are the \“well depth\” and hard sphere diameter… what are those?

    In slide eleven, what are the bended while columns in the picture? I don\‘t know if I just didn\‘t \“get it,\” but it wasn\‘t until I saw a picture from the simulation on slide fourteen that I understood what this slide was trying to say, largely because I thought the white columns were making additional partitions and I didn\‘t see that regions A, B, and C were supposed to be connected. That, or I just still don\‘t get it.

    Slide thirteen could use a nice mathematical reminder that slope = alpha. Thirteen also has a typo: alpha should equal 0.5 for Single-File Diffusion. From here on out is where I again felt that there was missing audio. Slide fourteen is very friendly, but I felt that thirteen and fifteen left me to interpret the presented data however I could. Taking this stage of the presentation slower and providing more insights on how to read the data would make the presentation more student-friendly, especially if the student is to do the exercise. Also, the conclusion was kind of anti-climactic, as it didn\‘t really seem to draw on the data.

    Sorry if I seemed overly critical. I enjoyed the presentation and feel that is has plenty of interesting information, but it\‘s just slightly clouded by a few assumptions made on the viewer that really do feel like they come from missing audio. Speaking of which, the icon next to the presentation says that there IS audio; a small website error.

    The reading restates the important information in a different, more wordy format – I liked it and thought that it did a fine job of explaining what was up with the predictions and corrections.

    REBO and I have become very good friends lately, but for the life of me I could not figure out how to run a simulation involving nanotubes and methane and get the xmol.d file that the exercise instructions refer to. The instructions are very indepth once one has the xmol.d file, but before then they offer no assistance. After some aimless clicking and getting told off by the REBO program for repeated user errors, I gave up. Maybe some instructions for running the simulation, and a link to a sample input file?

    The explainations offered with the answers in the final quiz were like icing on the cake. Each one did a good job explaining what the question was about and filling in any final gaps in understanding of the ten key concepts.

    Most importantly, does the module fulfill its purpose of teaching fundamental concepts in nanofluidics? Even without running the example simulation, I think yes. The module teaches about different modes of diffusion and the energies/obsticles involved. Armed with this understanding, a mentor, and the right input files, I think a beginning student could definitely contribute to work in the field.

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    SeongJun Heo

    5.0 out of 5 stars

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