Asymmetric diffusion through synthetic nanopores

Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Feb 4;94(4):048102. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.94.048102. Epub 2005 Feb 3.


We show that diffusion currents for a membrane containing a single conical nanopore with a fixed surface charge and small enough opening diameter depend on the concentration gradient direction. We interpret the results based on the effect of salt concentration on the thickness of the electrical double layer within the nanopore associated with the nanopore's surface charge and the distribution of electric fields inside the pore. The experimental observations are described by a diffusional model based on the Smoluchowski-Nernst-Planck equation.

MeSH terms

  • Chlorine / chemistry*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Diffusion
  • Membrane Potentials*
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Models, Chemical*
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Permeability
  • Polyethylene Terephthalates / chemistry*
  • Porosity
  • Potassium / chemistry*


  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Polyethylene Terephthalates
  • Chlorine
  • Potassium