Nanofluidic diodes

Chem Soc Rev. 2010 Mar;39(3):923-38. doi: 10.1039/b822554k. Epub 2009 Oct 13.


Ionic rectifying effect is a unique ion transport phenomenon observed in certain types of nanofluidic devices and cannot be implemented in microfluidics. Analogous to a diode in solid-state electronics, these diode-like nanofluidic devices can be used to turn the ionic flow on and off depending on the polarity of the applied electric-field. In this tutorial review, we summarize recent advances in the experimental and theoretical studies of ion current rectification in several types of nanofluidic devices. We also present a unified model to elucidate the physical mechanism behind the asymmetric ion transport behavior in nanofluidics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ions
  • Microfluidics / instrumentation
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Nanotechnology* / instrumentation
  • Semiconductors


  • Ions