Unexpected behaviors in molecular transport through size-controlled nanochannels down to the ultra-nanoscale

Giacomo Bruno, Nicola Di Trani, R. Lyle Hood, Erika Zabre, Carly Sue Filgueira, Giancarlo Canavese, Priya Jain, Zachary Smith, Danilo Demarchi, Sharath Hosali, Alberto Pimpinelli, Mauro Ferrari, Alessandro Grattoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Ionic transport through nanofluidic systems is a problem of fundamental interest in transport physics and has broad relevance in desalination, fuel cells, batteries, filtration, and drug delivery. When the dimension of the fluidic system approaches the size of molecules in solution, fluid properties are not homogeneous and a departure in behavior is observed with respect to continuum-based theories. Here we present a systematic study of the transport of charged and neutral small molecules in an ideal nanofluidic platform with precise channels from the sub-microscale to the ultra-nanoscale (<5 nm). Surprisingly, we find that diffusive transport of nano-confined neutral molecules matches that of charged molecules, as though the former carry an effective charge. Further, approaching the ultra-nanoscale molecular diffusivities suddenly drop by up to an order of magnitude for all molecules, irrespective of their electric charge. New theoretical investigations will be required to shed light onto these intriguing results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1682
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 27 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Unexpected behaviors in molecular transport through size-controlled nanochannels down to the ultra-nanoscale'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this