Viscous water meniscus under nanoconfinement

R. C. Major, J. E. Houston, M. J. McGrath, J. I. Siepmann, X. Y. Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


A dramatic transition in the mechanical properties of water is observed at the nanometer scale. For a water meniscus formed between two hydrophilic surfaces in the attractive region, with ≤1nm interfacial separation, the measured viscosity is 7 orders of magnitude greater than that of bulk water at room temperature. Grand canonical Monte Carlo simulations reveal enhancement in the tetrahedral structure and in the number of hydrogen bonds to the surfaces as a source for the high viscosity; this results from a cooperative effect of hydrogen bonding of water molecules to both hydrophilic surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number177803
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - 2006


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