Metal-Organic Framework Membrane Nanopores as Biomimetic Photoresponsive Ion Channels and Photodriven Ion Pumps

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2020 Jul 27;59(31):12795-12799. doi: 10.1002/anie.202005084. Epub 2020 May 25.


Biological ion channels and ion pumps with sub-nanometer sizes modulate ion transport in response to external stimuli. Realizing such functions with sub-nanometer solid-state nanopores has been an important topic with wide practical applications. Herein, we demonstrate a biomimetic photoresponsive ion channel and photodriven ion pump using a porphyrin-based metal-organic framework membrane with pore sizes comparable to hydrated ions. We show that the molecular-size pores enable precise and robust optoelectronic ion transport modulation in a broad range of concentrations, unparalleled with conventional solid-state nanopores. Upon decoration with platinum nanoparticles to form a Schottky barrier photodiode, photovoltage across the membrane is generated with "uphill" ion transport from low concentration to high concentration. These results may spark applications in energy conversion, ion sieving, and artificial photosynthesis.

Keywords: ion transport; membranes; metal-organic frameworks; nanopores; photodriven ion pumps.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomimetic Materials / chemistry*
  • Biomimetic Materials / radiation effects
  • Ion Channels / chemistry
  • Light
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Metal-Organic Frameworks / chemistry*
  • Metal-Organic Frameworks / radiation effects
  • Nanopores*
  • Platinum / chemistry
  • Porphyrins / chemistry
  • Porphyrins / radiation effects


  • Ion Channels
  • Metal-Organic Frameworks
  • Porphyrins
  • Platinum