Mass Transport Across Atomically Thin Membranes
Mass Transport across two-dimensional apertures and barriers differs significantly from the transport through three-dimensional conduits. Two-dimensional materials composed of one atomic layer offer a unique system to investigate possible mechanisms that govern the transfer across such pores. Small transport resistance to the cross-pore permeation caused by atomic thickness can invoke conventionally neglected surface effects in gas transport. Similarly, liquid and ionic transport across the two-dimensional pores is not governed by conventional continuum models, revealing new phenomena. Small liquid-flow resistance promises ultimate permeation such that membranes containing these two-dimensional pores could yield excellent separation membranes, given proper pore-size design and molecular interaction with the pore. An understanding of the fundamental transport mechanisms provides a basis for rational membrane design that is of interest in a broad range of applications such as in the petrochemical, environmental, biomedical, energy, as well as transportation industries.