Ionic current rectification at a nanofluidic/microfluidic interface with an asymmetric microfluidic system
A nanofluidic-microfluidic interface is reported that rectifies ionic current using uncoated symmetric nanocapillaries. Previously, ionic current rectification has been achieved by other groups with nanochannels with differential coatings and in nanopores that are conical in shape. This simple device uses nanocapillary membranes (NCMs) with uncoated symmetric channels to connect a microfluidic channel and a larger solution reservoir. The conductivity of the solution in the microchannel appears to be critical in the formation of the low “off” state current and the high “on” state current. It is hypothesized that the “off” state current is low due to the formation of an ion depletion zone in the microchannel while the higher “on” state currents are produced by a zone of enhanced ionic concentration in the microchannel.