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Title: Electrochemical control of ion transport through a mesoporous carbon membrane

The transport of fluids through nanometer scale channels typically on the order of 1 -100 nm often exhibit unique properties compared to the bulk fluid. These phenomena occur because the channel dimensions and molecular size become comparable to the range of several important forces including electrostatic and van der Waals forces. Small changes in properties such as the electric double layer or surface charge can significantly affect molecular transport through the channels. Based on these emerging properties, a variety of nanofluidic devices such as nanofluidic transistors, nanofluidic diodes or lab-on-a-chip devices have been developed3-7 with a diverse range of applications including water purification, biomolecular sensing, DNA separation, and rectified ion transport. Nanofluidic devices are typically fabricated using expensive lithography techniques or sacrificial templates. Here we report a carbon-based, three-dimensional nanofluidic transport membrane that enables gated, or on/off, control of the transport of organic molecular species and metal ions using an applied electrical potential. In the absence of an applied potential, both cationic and anionic molecules freely diffuse across the membrane via a concentration gradient. However, when an electrochemical potential is applied, the transport of ions through the membrane is inhibited.
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  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Langmuir; Journal Volume: 30; Journal Issue: 12
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Sponsoring Org:
ORNL LDRD Director's R&D
Country of Publication:
United States