Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Controlling Ionic Transport for Device Design in Synthetic Nanopores
by Kalman, Eric Boyd, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 2010, 364; 3428283
Abstract (Summary)

Polymer nanopores present a number of behaviors not seen in microscale systems, such as ion current rectification, ionic selectivity, size exclusion and potential dependent ion concentrations in and near the pore. The existence of these effects stems from the small size of nanopores with respect to the characteristic length scales of surface interactions at the interface between the nanopore surface and the solution within it. The large surface-to-volume ratio due to the nanoscale geometry of a nanopore, as well as similarity in scale between geometry and interaction demands the solution interact with the nanopore walls. As surfaces in solution almost always carry residual charge, these surface forces are primarily the electrostatic interactions between the charge groups on the pore surface and the ions in solution. These interactions may be used by the experimentalist to control ionic transport through synthetic nanopores, and use them as a template for the construction of devices.

In this research, we present our work on creating a number of ionic analogs to seminal electronic devices, specifically diodes, and transistors, by controlling ionic transport through the electrostatic interactions between a single synthetic nanopore and ions. Control is achieved by "doping" the effective charge carrier concentration in specific regions of the nanopore through manipulation of the pore's surface charge. This manipulation occurs through two mechanisms: chemical modification of the surface charge and electrostatic manipulation of the local internal nanopore potential using a gate electrode.

Additionally, the innate selectivity of the charged nanopores walls allows for the separation of charges in solution. This well-known effect, which spawns measureable quantities, the streaming potential and current, has been used to create nanoscale water desalination membranes. We attempt to create a device using membranes with large nanopore densities for the desalination of water which should theoretically outperform currently available devices, as through our previous work we have developed techniques allowing for transport manipulation not current accessible in traditional membrane motifs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Siwy, Zuzanna S.
Commitee: Dennin, Michael, Martens, Craig
School: University of California, Irvine
Department: Physics - Ph.D.
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 72/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Physical chemistry, Condensed matter physics, Biophysics
Keywords: Desalination, Diodes, Ion current, Ionic transport, Nanofluidics, Nanopores, Transistors
Publication Number: 3428283
ISBN: 978-1-124-34779-0
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