Mechanically-gated electrochemical ionic channels with chemically modified vertically aligned gold nanowires

Qingfeng Zhai, Ren Wang, Quanxia Lyu, Yiyi Liu, Lim Wei Yap, Shu Gong, Wenlong Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanically-gated ion channels play an important role in the human body, whereas it is challenging to design artificial mechanically-controlled ionic transport devices as the intrinsically rigidity of traditional electrodes. Here, we report on a mechanically-gated electrochemical channel by virtue of vertically aligned gold nanowires (v-AuNWs) as 3D stretchable electrodes. By surface modification with a self-assembled 1-Dodecanethiol monolayer, the v-AuNWs become hydrophobic and inaccessible to hydrated redox species (e.g., Fe(CN)63−/4− and Ru(bpy)32+). Under mechanical strains, the closely-packed v-AuNWs unzip/crack to generate ionic channels to enable redox reactions, giving rise to increases in Faradaic currents. The redox current increases with the strain level until it reaches a certain threshold value, and then decreases as the strain-induced conductivity decreases. The good reversible “on-off” behaviors for multiple cycles were also demonstrated. The results presented demonstrate a new strategy to control redox reactions simply by tensile strain, indicating the potential applications in future soft smart mechanotransduction devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103307
Number of pages11
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2021


  • Devices
  • Electrochemical materials science
  • Materials science

Cite this