Silicon carbide-gated nanofluidic membrane for active control of electrokinetic ionic transport

Antonia Silvestri, Nicola Di Trani, Giancarlo Canavese, Paolo Motto Ros, Leonardo Iannucci, Sabrina Grassini, Yu Wang, Xuewu Liu, Danilo Demarchi, Alessandro Grattoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Manipulation of ions and molecules by external control at the nanoscale is highly relevant to biomedical applications. We report a biocompatible electrode-embedded nanofluidic channel membrane designed for electrofluidic applications such as ionic field-effect transistors for implantable drug-delivery systems. Our nanofluidic membrane includes a polysilicon electrode electrically isolated by amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC). The nanochannel gating performance was experimentally investigated based on the current-voltage (I-V) characteristics, leakage current, and power consumption in potassium chloride (KCl) electrolyte. We observed significant modulation of ionic diffusive transport of both positively and negatively charged ions under physical confinement of nanochannels, with low power consumption. To study the physical mechanism associated with the gating performance, we performed electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The results showed that the flat band voltage and density of states were significantly low. In light of its remarkable performance in terms of ionic modulation and low power consumption, this new biocompatible nanofluidic membrane could lead to a new class of silicon implantable nanofluidic systems for tunable drug delivery and personalized medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number535
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Electrical double layer
  • Ion rectification
  • Ionic modulation control
  • Nanofluidic channel
  • Nanofluidic ion transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation


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