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Issue 6, 2014
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pH-regulated ionic current rectification in conical nanopores functionalized with polyelectrolyte brushes

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Abstract

Mimicking biological ion channels capable of pH-regulated ionic transport, synthetic nanopores functionalized with pH-tunable polyelectrolyte (PE) brushes have been considered as versatile tools for active transport control of ions, fluids, and bioparticles on the nanoscale. The ionic current rectification (ICR) phenomenon through a conical nanopore functionalized with PE brushes whose charge highly depends upon the local solution properties (i.e., pH and background salt concentration) is studied theoretically for the first time. The results show that the rectification magnitude, as well as the preferential rectification direction, is sensitive to the pH stimulus. The bulk concentration of the background salt can also significantly influence the charge of the PE brushes and accordingly affect the ICR phenomenon. The obtained results provide an insightful understanding of the pH-regulated ICR and guidelines for designing nanopores functionalized with PE brushes for pH-tunable applications.

Graphical abstract: pH-regulated ionic current rectification in conical nanopores functionalized with polyelectrolyte brushes

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Article information


Submitted
27 Sep 2013
Accepted
26 Nov 2013
First published
28 Nov 2013

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014,16, 2465-2474
Article type
Paper

pH-regulated ionic current rectification in conical nanopores functionalized with polyelectrolyte brushes

Z. Zeng, Y. Ai and S. Qian, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014, 16, 2465
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP54097A

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