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Electrokinetic behavior of bullet-shaped nanopores modified by functional groups: Influence of finite thickness of modified layer

Wu, Chun-Ting, Hsu, Jyh-Ping
Journal of colloid and interface science 2021 v.582 pp. 741-751
electroosmosis, hardness, mathematical models, metal ions, nanopores
We examined theoretically the electrokinetic behavior of a bullet-shaped nanopore modified by a functional layer, focusing on the influence of its thickness. The nanopore contains both fixed surface charge coming from the original bare surface, and space fixed charge from the modified layer. The results of numerical simulation reveal that the presence of this layer is crucial to the electrokinetic behavior of the nanopore. In particular, its softness is capable of influencing ionic profiles through electroosmotic flow (EOF). Unlike a conical nanopore where its surface normal vector is constant, that of the present bullet-shaped nanopore varies along the pore axis, thereby affecting the degree of EOF, which in turn, can make the ionic profile inside the modified layer more uniform. This is crucial to the applications of the nanopore, for example, in mimicking biological membranes and sensing metal ions.