Ultrafast rectifying counter-directional transport of proton and metal ions in metal-organic framework–based nanochannels

Jun Lu, Hengyu Xu, Hao Yu, Xiaoyi Hu, Jun Xia, Yinlong Zhu, Fengchao Wang, Heng-An Wu, Lei Jiang, Huanting Wang

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Bioinspired control of ion transport at the subnanoscale has become a major focus in the fields of nanofluidics and membrane separation. It is fundamentally important to achieve rectifying ion-specific transport in artificial ion channels, but it remains a challenge. Here, we report a previously unidentified metal-organic framework nanochannel (MOF NC) nanofluidic system to achieve unidirectional ultrafast counter-directional transport of alkaline metal ions and proton. This highly effective ion-specific rectifying transport behavior is attributed to two distinct mechanisms for metal ions and proton, elucidated by theoretical simulations. Notably, the MOF NC exhibits ultrafast proton conduction stemming from ultrahigh proton mobility, i.e., 11.3 × 10-7 m2 /V·s, and low energy barrier of 0.075 eV in MIL-53-COOH subnanochannels. Furthermore, the MOF NC shows excellent osmotic power-harvesting performance in reverse electrodialysis. This work expects to inspire further research into multifunctional biomimetic ion channels for advanced nanofluidics, biomimetics, and separation applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabl5070
Number of pages10
JournalScience Advances
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2022

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