Effects of anion size and concentration on electrolyte invasion into molecular-sized nanopores

Ling LIU, Xi CHEN*, Taewan KIM, Aijie HAN, Yi QIAO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


When an electrolyte solution is pressurized into a molecular-sized nanopore, oppositely charged ions are strongly inclined to aggregate, which effectively reduces the ion solubility to zero. Inside the restrictive confinement, a unique quasi-periodic structure is formed where the paired ion couples are periodically separated by a number of water molecules. As the anion size or ion concentration varies, the geometrical characteristics of the confined ion structure would change considerably, leading to a significant variation in the transport pressure. Both experimental and simulation results indicate that, contradictory to the prediction of conventional theory, infiltration pressure decreases as the anions become larger. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.
Original languageEnglish
Article number33021
Number of pages10
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

YQ was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Sandia National Lab under grant no. CMMI-0623973. XC was supported by NSF under grant no. CMMI-0643726, a World Class University (WCU) program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Korea (R32-2008000-20042-0), and by National Natural Science Foundation of China grant no. 50928601. LL acknowledges the support of the American Academy of Mechanics and the Robert M and Mary Haythornthwaite Foundation.


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