Abstract

Continuum transport equations are commonly applied to nanopores in atomically thin membranes for simple modeling. Although these equations do not apply for nanopores approaching the fluid or solute molecule size, they can be reasonably accurate for larger nanopores. Relatively large graphene nanopores have applications in small particle filtration and appear as unwanted defects in large-area membranes. Solute transport rates through these nanopores determine the rejection performance of the membrane. Atomically thin membranes commonly operate in a regime where advection and diffusion both contribute appreciably to transport. Solute mass transfer rates through larger nanopores have previously been modeled by adding continuum estimates for pure diffusion and pure advection through an infinitesimally thick orifice plate, as if the separate contributions were independent. We show here that estimating the transport rate in this way is accurate to within 30%. We further derive an expression for the net mass transfer rate in advection-diffusion through an infinitesimal thickness orifice plate at low Reynolds numbers that is accurate to within 1% for positive Peclet numbers (where diffusion is in the same direction as advection) and applies for negative Peclet numbers as well. Based on our expression, we devise an equation for the net mass transfer rate in creeping flow through orifice plates of arbitrary thickness that matches finite volume calculations to within 3% for positive Peclet numbers. These simple but accurate analytical equations for mass transfer rates in creeping flow through an orifice plate are useful tools in constructing approximate transport models.

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