Permselective Ion Transport Across the Nanoscopic Liquid/Liquid Interface Array

Analytical Chemistry
Xiao HuangBin Su


Free-standing silica nanochannel membrane (SNM) with perforated channels was utilized to create arrays of nanoscale interfaces between two immiscible electrolyte solutions (nano-ITIES), at which permselective ion transfer and detection were achieved. The SNM consisted of a high density of straight nanochannels with a diameter of 2-3 nm and a length of 70 nm. The silicon wafer coated by 150 nm-thick porous silicon nitride film (p-SiNF) with pores of 5 μm-in-diameter was used to support the SNM in a form of nanochannel-on-micropore. Considering the material surface lipophilicity, the nano-ITIES array was formed at the boundary between SNM and p-SiNF, with a diffusion geometry equivalent to two back-to-back inlaid microdisc interfaces. Thus, the transfer of tetraethylammonium (TEA(+)) across the nano-ITIES array yielded symmetric sigmoidal current responses. In addition, because of the ultrasmall size and negatively charged surface of silica nanochannels, the nano-ITIES displayed obvious size and charge permselectivities. Transfer of ions with a size comparable with or larger than the nanochannel was sterically blocked. Also that of anions with a size smaller than the nanochannels encountered the strong electrostatic repulsion fro...Continue Reading


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