Photo-switchable two-dimensional nanofluidic ionic diodes
The bottom-up assembly of ion-channel-mimetic nanofluidic devices and materials with two-dimensional (2D) nano-building blocks paves a straightforward way towards the real-world applications of the novel transport phenomena on a nano- or sub-nanoscale. One immediate challenge is to provide the 2D nanofluidic systems with adaptive responsibilities and asymmetric ion transport characteristics. Herein, we introduce a facile and general strategy to provide a graphene-oxide-based 2D nanofluidic system with photo-switchable ionic current rectification (ICR). The degree of ICR can be prominently enhanced upon UV irradiation and it can be perfectly retrieved under irradiation with visible light. A maximum ICR ratio of about 48 was achieved. The smart and functional nanofluidic devices have applications in energy conversion, chemical sensing, water treatment, etc.