Electrokinetic energy conversion in self-assembled 2D nanofluidic channels with janus nanobuilding blocks

Hongfei Cheng, Yi Zhou, Yaping Feng, Wenxiao Geng, Qinfu Liu, Wei Guo, Lei Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)


Inspired by the microstructure of nacre, material design, and large-scale integration of artificial nanofluidic devices step into a completely new stage, termed 2D nanofluidics, in which mass and charge transportation are confined in the interstitial space between reconstructed 2D nanomaterials. However, all the existing 2D nanofluidic systems are reconstituted from homogeneous nanobuilding blocks. Herein, this paper reports the bottom-up construction of 2D nanofluidic materials with kaolinite-based Janus nanobuilding blocks, and demonstrates two types of electrokinetic energy conversion through the network of 2D nanochannels. Being different from previous 2D nanofluidic systems, two distinct types of sub-nanometer- and nanometer-wide fluidic channels of about 6.8 and 13.8 Å are identified in the reconstructed kaolinite membranes (RKM), showing prominent surface-governed ion transport behaviors and nearly perfect cation-selectivity. The RKMs exhibit superior capability in osmotic and hydraulic energy conversion, compared to graphene-based membranes. The mineral-based 2D nanofluidic system opens up a new avenue to self-assemble asymmetric 2D nanomaterials for energy, environmental, and healthcare applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700177
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • 2D materials
  • biomimetics
  • ion transport
  • Janus materials
  • nanofluidics

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