Current rectification by nanoparticle blocking in single cylindrical nanopores
Blocking of a charged pore by an oppositely charged nanoparticle can support rectifying properties in a cylindrical nanopore, as opposed to the usual case of a fixed asymmetry in the pore geometry and charge distribution. We present here experimental data and model calculations to confirm this fundamental effect. The nanostructure imaging and the effects of nanoparticle concentration, pore radius, and salt concentration on the electrical conductance–voltage (G–V) curves are discussed. Logic responses based on chemical and electrical inputs/outputs could also be implemented with a single pore acting as an effective nanofluidic diode. To better show the generality of the results, different charge states and relative sizes of the nanopore and the nanoparticle are considered, emphasizing those physical concepts that are also found in the ionic drug blocking of protein ion channels.