Supramolecular self-assembly induced adjustable multiple gating states of nanofluidic diodes

Ruochen Fang, Huacheng Zhang, Liulin Yang, Huanting Wang, Ye Tian, Xi Zhang, Lei Jiang

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43 Citations (Scopus)


Artificial nanochannels, inheriting smart gating functions of biological ion channels, promote the development of artificial functional nanofluidic devices for high-performance biosensing and electricity generation. However, gating states of the artificial nanochannels have been mainly realized through chemical modification of the channels with responsive molecules and their gating states cannot be further regulated once the nanochannel is modified. In this work, we employed a new supramolecular layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembly method to achieve reversible and adjustable multiple gating features in nanofluidic diodes. Initially, a self-assembly precursor was modified into a single conical nanochannel, then host molecule-cucurbit[8]uril (CB[8]) and guest molecule, a naphthalene derivative, were self-assembled onto the precursor through LbL method driven by host-enhanced π-π interaction, forming supramolecular monolayer or multilayers on the inner surface of the channel. These self-assemblies with different layer numbers possessed remarkable charge effects and steric effects, exhibiting a capability to regulate the surface charge density and polarity, the effective diameter and the geometric asymmetry of the single nanochannel, realizing reversible gating of the single nanochannel among multiple rectification and ion-conduction states. As an example of self-assembly of supramolecular networks in nano-confinements, this work provides a new approach for enhancing functionalities of artificial nanochannels by LbL supramolecular self-assemblies. Meanwhile, since the host molecule, CB[8], used in this work can interact with different kinds of biomolecules and stimuli-responsive chemical species, this work can be further extended to build a novel stable multiple-state research platform for a variety of uses such as sensing and controllable release.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16372-16379
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2016

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