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Boundary Conditions for Diffusion-Mediated Processes within Linear Nanopores: Exact Treatment of Coupling to an Equilibrated External Fluid

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journal contribution
posted on 03.04.2017, 00:00 by Andrés García, James W. Evans
We consider a variety of diffusion-mediated processes occurring within linear nanopores, but which involve coupling to an equilibrated external fluid through adsorption and desorption. By determining adsorption and desorption rates through a set of tailored simulations, and by exploiting a spatial Markov property of the models, we develop a formulation for performing efficient pore-only simulations of these processes. Coupling to the external fluid is described exactly through appropriate nontrivial boundary conditions at the pore openings. This formalism is applied to analyze the following: (i) tracer counter permeation (TCP) where different labeled particles adsorb into opposite ends of the pore and establish a nonequilibrium steady state; (ii) tracer exchange (TE) with exchange of differently labeled particles within and outside the pore; (iii) catalytic conversion reactions where a reactant in the external fluid adsorbs into the pore and converts to a product which may desorb. The TCP analysis also generates a position-dependent generalized tracer diffusion coefficient, the form of which controls behavior in the TE and catalytic conversion processes. We focus on the regime of single-file diffusion within the pore which produces the strongest correlations and largest deviations from mean-field type behavior. Behavior is quantified precisely via kinetic Monte Carlo simulations but is also captured with appropriate analytic treatments.