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Ion Current Rectification Behavior of Bioinspired Nanopores Having a pH-Tunable Zwitterionic Surface

Hsu, Jyh-Ping, Wu, Hou-Hsueh, Lin, Chih-Yuan, Tseng, Shiojenn
Analytical chemistry 2017 v.89 no.7 pp. 3952-3958
geometry, isoelectric point, nanopores, pH, salt concentration, zwitterions
The ion current rectification behavior of bioinspired nanopores is modeled by adopting a bullet-shaped nanopore having a pH-tunable zwitterionic surface, focusing on discussing the underlying mechanisms. We show that with its specific geometry, such nanopore is capable of exhibiting several interesting behaviors, including ion concentration polarization and ion current rectification. The influences of the nanopore shape, solution pH, and bulk salt concentration on the associated ion current rectification behavior are examined. We found that if pH exceeds the isoelectric point, the rectification factor has a local maximum as the curvature of the nanopore surface varies, and if it is lower than the isoelectric point, that factor increases (rectification effect decreases) monotonically with increasing surface curvature. In addition to capable of interpreting relevant electrokinetic phenomena, the results gathered also provide necessary information for a sophisticated design of relevant devices.