Continuously tunable ion rectification and conductance in submicrochannels stemming from thermoresponsive polymer self-assembly

Yafeng Wu, Guang Yang, Mingchang Lin, Xiangyu Kong, Li Mi, Songqin Liu, Guosong Chen, Ye Tian, Lei Jiang

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34 Citations (Scopus)


A biomimetic conical submicrochannel (tip side ca. 400 nm) with functions of continuously tunable ion rectification and conductance based on thermoresponsive polymer layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembly is presented. These self-assembled polymers with different layers exhibited a capability to regulate the effective channel diameter, and different ion rectifications/conductance were achieved. By controlling temperature, the conformation and wettability of the assembled polymers were reversibly transformed, thus the ion rectification/conductance could be further adjusted subtly. Owing to the synergistic effect, the ion conductance could be tuned over a wide range spanning three orders of magnitude. Moreover, the proposed system can be applied for on-demand on-off molecule delivery, which was important for disease therapy. This study opens a new door for regulating channel size according to actual demand and sensing big targets with different size with one channel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12481-12485
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • self-assembly
  • submicrochannels
  • thermoresponsive polymers
  • tunable ion conductance
  • tunable ion rectification

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