Laboratoire Charles Coulomb UMR 5221 CNRS/UM2 (L2C)


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Exploring the confinement of water in carbon nanotubes

par Christelle EVE - publié le

Context :
Being the primordial solvent of life, water is essential to living organisms and to human societies. Because it is abundant on earth, it is at the core of important technological developments, including green chemistry, blue energy harvesting and so on. The primordial role of water can be related to its structural properties that are unique in nature (hydrogen bond network and dipolar moment). Any modification of the water structure has a huge impact on its properties.
In extreme confinement situation, water can still fit into narrow channels but at the cost of a modification of its structure. This yields structures of water that are different from the bulk [1,2], a rich phase diagram [3,4] and surprising transport properties [5]. This is the field of nanofluidics, where the laws of continuum fluid dynamics (Navier Stokes) do not hold anymore [6].

[1] T. A. Pascal, W. A. Goddard and Y. Jung, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 108 (2011)
[2] E. Paineau, P.-A. Albouy, S. Rouzière, A. Orecchini, S. Rols and P. Launois, Nano Lett. 13 (2013)
[3] D. Takaiwa, I. Hatano, K. Koga and H. Tanaka, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 105 (2008)
[4] K. V. Agrawal, S. Shimizu, L. W. Drahushuk, D. Kilcoyne and M. S. Strano, Nat. Nanotechnol. 12
[5] K. Falk, F. Sedlmeier, L. Joly, R. R. Netz and L. Bocquet, Nano Lett. 10 (2010)
[6] L. Bocquet and E. Charlaix, Chem. Soc. Rev. 39 (2010)

Scientific and technical work :

The internship aims at exploring the physics of water under extreme confinement, inside singlewalled carbon nanotubes (with diameter of 1-2 nm) using optical and electrical measurments at the level of individual nanotubes. First, the design of the experimental measurement setup and of the fabrication process of the sample will be carried out. Second, the master intern will undertake optical polarization experiments coupled with electrical means to study the filling of nanotubes by water. The project includes mainly clean-room fabrication and optical measurements. This internship can be followed by a PhD thesis.

Background in Physics (level Master, Engineering diploma, or equivalent). Experimental skills required, experience in Clean Room and in Optics considered as a plus.

Additional information :
Length of the internship : 4 to 6 months
Starting date : flexible, to be defined with the candidate

Advisors : Adrien Noury, Vincent Jourdain
Email :,