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Issue 12, 2019
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Dye-sensitized TiO2 nanotube membranes act as a visible-light switchable diffusion gate

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Abstract

Here we report that both-end open anodic TiO2 nanotube membranes, after sensitization with a Ru(II)-based dye, exhibit visible-light switching properties for flow-through the nanotube channels. Under illumination, the gate is in an open state providing ∼four-times faster permeation of small molecules through the membrane compared to a dark state. Switching is reversible with no apparent dye degradation being observed. Gating is possible not only of permeating dye molecules but also of nanoprobes such as polystyrene nanospheres. Supported by quantitative modelling, we attribute the switching mechanism to light-induced changes of the charge distribution at the dye/TiO2 interface which in turn alters the hydrodynamics within the anodic tube membranes. This demonstrates that these simple dye-sensitized nanotube membranes can be used as an optically addressable flow-through gate in nanofluidics.

Graphical abstract: Dye-sensitized TiO2 nanotube membranes act as a visible-light switchable diffusion gate

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
06 Aug 2019
Accepted
22 Oct 2019
First published
11 Nov 2019

This article is Open Access

Nanoscale Adv., 2019,1, 4844-4852
Article type
Paper

Dye-sensitized TiO2 nanotube membranes act as a visible-light switchable diffusion gate

I. Hwang, F. Riboni, E. Gongadze, A. Iglič, J. Yoo, S. So, A. Mazare and P. Schmuki, Nanoscale Adv., 2019, 1, 4844
DOI: 10.1039/C9NA00480G

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