Université PSL

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RECHERCHER

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Ultrafast photomechanical transduction through thermophoretic implosion
Laboratoire Micromégas - N. Kavokine, S. Zou, R. Liu, H. Zhong, A. Nigues, B. Zou and L. Bocquet
Nature Communications - 11(1) 50 - doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13912-w - 2020
Since the historical experiments of Crookes, the direct manipulation of matter by light has been both a challenge and a source of scientific debate. Here we show that laser illumination allows to displace a vial of nanoparticle solution over centimetre-scale distances. Cantilever-based force measurements show that the movement is due to millisecond-long force spikes, which are synchronised with a sound emission. We observe that the nanoparticles undergo negative thermophoresis, and ultrafast imaging reveals that the force spikes are followed by the explosive growth of a bubble in the solution. We propose a mechanism accounting for the propulsion based on a thermophoretic instability of the nanoparticle cloud, analogous to the Jeans’s instability that occurs in gravitational systems. Our experiments demonstrate a new type of laser propulsion and a remarkably violent actuation of soft matter, reminiscent of the strategy used by certain plants to propel their spores.
Pairwise frictional profile between particles determines discontinuous shear thickening transition in non‐colloidal suspensions
Laboratoire Micromégas - J. Comtet, G. Chatté, A. Niguès, L. Bocquet, A. Siria, and A. Colin
Nat Commun - 8 15633 - DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15633 - 2019
The process by which sheared suspensions go through a dramatic change in viscosity is known as discontinuous shear thickening. Although well-characterized on the macroscale, the microscopic mechanisms at play in this transition are still poorly understood. Here, by developing new experimental procedures based on quartz-tuning fork atomic force microscopy, we measure the pairwise frictional profile between approaching pairs of polyvinyl chloride and cornstarch particles in solvent. We report a clear transition from a low-friction regime, where pairs of particles support a finite normal load, while interacting purely hydrodynamically, to a high-friction regime characterized by hard repulsive contact between the particles and sliding friction. Critically, we show that the normal stress needed to enter the frictional regime at nanoscale matches the critical stress at which shear thickening occurs for macroscopic suspensions. Our experiments bridge nano and macroscales and provide long needed demonstration of the role of frictional forces in discontinuous shear thickening.
Entrance Effects in Concentration-Gradient-Driven Flow Through an Ultrathin Porous Membrane
Laboratoire Micromégas - Daniel J. Rankin, Lydéric Bocquet, David M. Huang
J. Chem. Phys - 151 44705 - DOI:10.1063/1.5108700 - 2019
Transport of liquid mixtures through porous membranes is central to processes such as desalination, chemical separations and energy harvesting, with ultrathin membranes made from novel 2D nanomaterials showing exceptional promise. Here we derive, for the first time, general equations for the solution and solute fluxes through a circular pore in an ultrathin planar membrane induced by a solute concentration gradient. We show that the equations accurately capture the fluid fluxes measured in finite-element numerical simulations for weak solute-membrane interactions. We also derive scaling laws for these fluxes as a function of the pore size and the strength and range of solute-membrane interactions. These scaling relationships differ markedly from those for concentration-gradient-driven flow through a long cylindrical pore or for flow induced by a pressure gradient or electric field through a pore in an ultrathin membrane. These results have broad implications for transport of liquid mixtures through membranes with a thickness on the order of the characteristic pore size.
Osmosis, from molecular insights to large-scale applications
Laboratoire Micromégas - Sophie Marbach, Lyderic Bocquet
Phys. Chem. - 48 3102-3144 - DOI:10.1039/C8CS00420J - 2019
Osmosis is a universal phenomenon occurring in a broad variety of processes and fields. It is the archetype of entropic forces, both trivial in its fundamental expression - the van 't Hoff perfect gas law - and highly subtle in its physical roots. While osmosis is intimately linked with transport across membranes, it also manifests itself as an interfacial transport phenomenon: the so-called diffusio-osmosis and -phoresis, whose consequences are presently actively explored for example for the manipulation of colloidal suspensions or the development of active colloidal swimmers. Here we give a global and unifying view of the phenomenon of osmosis and its consequences with a multi-disciplinary perspective. Pushing the fundamental understanding of osmosis allows to propose new perspectives for different fields and we highlight a number of examples along these lines, for example introducing the concepts of osmotic diodes, active separation and far from equilibrium osmosis, raising in turn fundamental questions in the thermodynamics of separation. The applications of osmosis are also obviously considerable and span very diverse fields. Here we discuss a selection of phenomena and applications where osmosis shows great promises: osmotic phenomena in membrane science (with recent developments in separation, desalination, reverse osmosis for water purification thanks in particular to the emergence of new nanomaterials); applications in biology and health (in particular discussing the kidney filtration process); osmosis and energy harvesting (in particular, osmotic power and blue energy as well as capacitive mixing); applications in detergency and cleaning, as well as for oil recovery in porous media.
Molecular streaming and its voltage control in ångström-scale channels
Laboratoire Micromégas - Timothée Mouterde, Anthony R. Poggioli, Ashok Keerthi, Shafat Hussain Dar
Nature - 567(7746) 87-90 - DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-0961-5 - 2019
Over the past decade, the ability to reduce the dimensions of fluidic devices to the nanometre scale (by using nanotubes1–5 or nanopores6–11, for example) has led to the discovery of unexpected water- and ion-transport phenomena12–14. More recently, van der Waals assembly of two-dimensional materials¹⁵ has allowed the creation of artificial channels with ångström-scale precision¹⁶. Such channels push fluid confinement to the molecular scale, wherein the limits of continuum transport equations¹⁷ are challenged. Water films on this scale can rearrange into one or two layers with strongly suppressed dielectric permittivity18,19 or form a room-temperature ice phase²⁰. Ionic motion in such confined channels²¹ is affected by direct interactions between the channel walls and the hydration shells of the ions, and water transport becomes strongly dependent on the channel wall material²². We explore how water and ionic transport are coupled in such confinement. Here we report measurements of ionic fluid transport through molecular-sized slit-like channels. The transport, driven by pressure and by an applied electric field, reveals a transistor-like electrohydrodynamic effect. An applied bias of a fraction of a volt increases the measured pressure-driven ionic transport (characterized by streaming mobilities) by up to 20 times. This gating effect is observed in both graphite and hexagonal boron nitride channels but exhibits marked material-dependent differences. We use a modified continuum framework accounting for the material-dependent frictional interaction of water molecules, ions and the confining surfaces to explain the differences observed between channels made of graphene and hexagonal boron nitride. This highly nonlinear gating of fluid transport under molecular-scale confinement may offer new routes to control molecular and ion transport, and to explore electromechanical couplings that may have a role in recently discovered mechanosensitive ionic channels²³.
Beyond the Trade-Off: Dynamic Selectivity in Ionic Transport and Current Rectification
Laboratoire Micromégas - A. Poggioli, A. Siria, L. Bocquet
Phys. Chem. - 123.5 1171-1185 - doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcb.8b11202 - 2019
Traditionally, ion selectivity in nanopores and nanoporous membranes is understood to be a consequence of Debye overlap, in which the Debye screening length is comparable to the nanopore radius somewhere along the length of the nanopore(s). This criterion sets a significant limitation on the size of ion-selective nanopores, as the Debye length is on the order of 1–10 nm for typical ionic concentrations. However, the analytical results we present here demonstrate that surface conductance generates a dynamical selectivity in ion transport, and this selectivity is controlled by so-called Dukhin, rather than Debye, overlap. The Dukhin length, defined as the ratio of surface to bulk conductance, reaches values of hundreds of nanometers for typical surface charge densities and ionic concentrations, suggesting the possibility of designing large-nanopore (10–100 nm), high-conductance membranes exhibiting significant ion selectivity. Such membranes would have potentially dramatic implications for the efficiency of osmotic energy conversion and separation techniques. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this mechanism of dynamic selectivity leads ultimately to the rectification of ionic current, rationalizing previous studies, showing that Debye overlap is not a necessary condition for the occurrence of rectifying behavior in nanopores.
Atomic rheology of gold nanojunctions
Laboratoire Micromégas - Jean Comtet, Antoine Lainé, Antoine Niguès, Lydéric Bocquet & Alessandro Siria
Nature - 569(7756) 393–397 - DOI : 10.1038/s41586-019-1178-3 - 2019
Despite extensive investigations of dissipation and deformation processes in micro- and nano-sized metallic samples1,2,3,4,5,6,7, the mechanisms at play during the deformation of systems with ultimate (molecular) size remain unknown. Although metallic nanojunctions, which are obtained by stretching metallic wires down to the atomic level, are typically used to explore atomic-scale contacts5,8,9,10,11, it has not been possible until now to determine the full equilibrium and non-equilibrium rheological flow properties of matter at such scales. Here, by using an atomic-force microscope equipped with a quartz tuning fork, we combine electrical and rheological measurements on ångström-size gold junctions to study the non-linear rheology of this model atomic system. By subjecting the junction to increasing subnanometric deformations we observe a transition from a purely elastic regime to a plastic one, and eventually to a viscous-like fluidized regime, similar to the rheology of soft yielding materials12,13,14, although orders of magnitude different in length scale. The fluidized state furthermore exhibits capillary attraction, as expected for liquid capillary bridges. This shear fluidization cannot be captured by classical models of friction between atomic planes15,16 and points to an unexpected dissipative behaviour of defect-free metallic junctions at ultimate scales. Atomic rheology is therefore a powerful tool that can be used to probe the structural reorganization of atomic contacts.

Ionic Coulomb blockade as a fractional Wien effect
Laboratoire Micromégas - Nikita Kavokine, Sophie Marbach, Alessandro Siria & Lydéric Bocquet
Nat. Nanotechnol. - 14 573–578 - doi.org/10.1038/s41565-019-0425-y - 2019
Recent advances in nanofluidics have allowed the exploration of ion transport down to molecular-scale confinement, yet artificial porins are still far from reaching the advanced functionalities of biological ion machinery. Achieving single ion transport that is tunable by an external gate—the ionic analogue of electronic Coulomb blockade—would open new avenues in this quest. However, an understanding of ionic Coulomb blockade beyond the electronic analogy is still lacking. Here, we show that the many-body dynamics of ions in a charged nanochannel result in quantized and strongly nonlinear ionic transport, in full agreement with molecular simulations. We find that ionic Coulomb blockade occurs when, upon sufficient confinement, oppositely charged ions form ‘Bjerrum pairs’, and the conduction proceeds through a mechanism reminiscent of Onsager’s Wien effect. Our findings open the way to novel nanofluidic functionalities, such as an ion pump based on ionic Coulomb blockade, inspired by its electronic counterpart.
MicroMegascope based dynamic surface force apparatus
Laboratoire Micromégas - Lainé, Antoine; Jubin, Laetitia; Canale, Luca; Bocquet, Lydéric; Siria, Alessandro; Donaldson, Stephen H., Jr.; Niguès, Antoine
Nanotechnology - 30 195502 - DOI: 10.1088/1361-6528/ab02ba - 2019
Surface force apparatus (SFA) allows accurate resolving of the interfacial properties of fluids confined between extended surfaces. The accuracy of the SFA makes it an ubiquitous tool for the nanoscale mechanical characterization of soft matter systems. The SFA traditionally measures force-distance profiles through interferometry with subnanometric distance precision. However, these techniques often require a dedicated and technically demanding experimental setup, and there remains a need for versatile and simple force-distance measurement tools. Here we present a MicroMegascope based dynamic SFA capable of accurate measurement of the dynamic force profile of a liquid confined between a millimetric sphere and a planar substrate. Normal and shear mechanical impedance is measured within the classical frequency modulation framework. We measure rheological and frictional properties from micrometric to molecular confinement. We also highlight the resolution of small interfacial features such as ionic liquid layering. This apparatus shows promise as a versatile force-distance measurement device for exotic surfaces or extreme environments.
Nanorheology of Interfacial Water during Ice Gliding
Laboratoire Micromégas - L. Canale, J. Comtet, A. Niguès, C. Cohen, C. Clanet, A. Siria, and L. Bocquet
Phys. Rev. X - 9 041025 - doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevX.9.041025 - 2019
The slipperiness of ice is an everyday-life phenomenon, which, surprisingly, remains controversial despite a long scientific history. The very small friction measured on ice is classically attributed to the presence of a thin self-lubricating film of meltwater between the slider and the ice. But while the macroscale friction behavior of ice and snow has been widely investigated, very little is known about the interfacial water film and its mechanical properties. In this work, we develop a stroke-probe force measurement technique to uncover the microscopic mechanisms underlying ice lubrication. We simultaneously measure the shear friction of a bead on ice and quantify the in situ mechanical properties of the interfacial film, as well as its thickness, under various regimes of speed and temperature. In contrast with standard views, meltwater is found to exhibit a complex viscoelastic rheology, with a viscosity up to 2 orders of magnitude larger than pristine water. The unconventional rheology of meltwater provides a new, consistent, rationale for ice slipperiness. Hydrophobic coatings are furthermore shown to strongly reduce friction due to a surprising change in the local viscosity, providing an unexpected explanation for waxing effects in winter sports. Beyond ice friction, our results suggest new avenues towards self-healing lubricants to achieve ultralow friction.
Adsorption Kinetics in Open Nanopores as a Source of Low-Frequency Noise
Laboratoire Micromégas - Simon Gravelle, Roland R. Netz, and Lydéric Bocquet
Nano Lett. - 19(10) 7265-7272 - doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b02858 - 2019
Ionic current measurements through solid-state nanopores consistently show a power spectral density that scales as 1/f α at low frequency f, with an exponent α ∼ 0.5–1.5, but strikingly, the physical origin of this behavior remains elusive. Here, we perform simulations of particles reversibly adsorbing at the surface of a nanopore and show that the fluctuations in the number of adsorbed particles exhibit low-frequency pink noise. We furthermore propose theoretical modeling for the time-dependent adsorption of particles on the nanopore surface for various geometries, which predicts a frequency spectrum in very good agreement with the simulation results. Altogether, our results highlight that the low-frequency noise takes its origin in the reversible adsorption of ions at the pore surface combined with the long-lasting excursions of the ions in the reservoirs. The scaling regime of the power spectrum extends down to a cutoff frequency which is far smaller than simple diffusion estimates. Using realistic values for the pore dimensions and the adsorption–desorption kinetics, this predicts the observation of pink noise for frequencies down to the hertz for a typical solid-state nanopore, in good agreement with experiments.
Beyond the Tradeoff: Dynamic Selectivity in Ionic Transport and Current Selectivity
Laboratoire Micromégas - Anthony R. Poggioli, Alessandro Siria, Lyderic Bocquet
J. Phys. Chem. B. - 123(5) 1171--1185 - DOI:10.1021/acs.jpcb.8b11202 - 2019
Traditionally, ion-selectivity in nanopores and nanoporous membranes is understood to be a consequence of Debye overlap, in which the Debye screening length is comparable to the nanopore radius somewhere along the length of the nanopore(s). This criterion sets a significant limitation on the size of ion-selective nanopores, as the Debye length is on the order of 1 - 10 nm for typical ionic concentrations. However, the analytical results we present here demonstrate that surface conductance generates a dynamical selectivity in ion transport, and this selectivity is controlled by so-called Dukhin, rather than Debye, overlap. The Dukhin length, defined as the ratio of surface to bulk conductance, reaches values of hundreds of nanometers for typical surface charge densities and ionic concentrations, suggesting the possibility of designing large-nanopore (10 - 100 nm), high-conductance membranes exhibiting significant ion-selectivity. Such membranes would have potentially dramatic implications for the efficiency of osmotic energy conversion and separation techniques. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this mechanism of dynamic selectivity leads ultimately to the rectification of ionic current, rationalizing previous studies showing that Debye overlap is not a necessary condition for the occurrence of rectifying behavior in nanopores.
Interfacial transport with mobile surface charges and consequences for ionic transport in carbon nanotubes
Laboratoire Micromégas - Timothée Mouterde, Lydéric Bocquet
Eur. Phys. - 41 148 - doi.org/10.1140/epje/i2018-11760-2 - 2018
In this paper, we explore the effect of a finite surface charge mobility on the interfacial transport: conductance, streaming currents, electro- and diffusio-osmotic flows. We first show that the surface charge mobility modifies the hydrodynamic boundary condition for the fluid, which introduces a supplementary term depending on the applied electric field. In particular, the resulting slip length is found to decrease inversely with the surface charge. We then derive expressions for the various transport mobilities, highlighting that the surface charge mobility merely moderates the amplification effect of interfacial slippage, to the noticeable exception of diffusio-osmosis and surface conductance. Our calculations, obtained within Poisson-Boltzmann framework, highlight the importance of non-linear electrostatic contributions to predict the small concentration/large charge limiting regimes for the transport mobilities. We discuss these predictions in the context of recent electrokinetic experiments with carbon nanotubes.
Transport and dispersion across wiggling nano-pores
Laboratoire Micromégas - Sophie Marbach, David S. Dean & Lydéric Bocquet
Nature Physics - 14 1108–1113 - doi.org/10.1038/s41567-018-0239-0 - 2018
The transport of fluids at the nanoscale has achieved major breakthroughs over recent years1,2,3,4; however, artificial channels still cannot match the efficiency of biological porins in terms of fluxes or selectivity. Pore shape agitation—due to thermal fluctuations or in response to external stimuli—is believed to facilitate transport in biochannels5,6,7,8,9, but its impact on transport in artificial pores remains largely unexplored. Here we introduce a general theory for transport through thermally or actively fluctuating channels, which quantifies the impact of pore fluctuations on confined diffusion in terms of the spectral statistics of the channel fluctuations. Our findings demonstrate a complex interplay between transport and surface wiggling: agitation enhances diffusion via the induced fluid flow, but spatial variations in pore geometry can induce a slowing down via entropic trapping, in full agreement with molecular dynamics simulations and existing observations from the literature. Our results elucidate the impact of pore agitation in a broad range of artificial and biological porins, but also, at larger scales, in vascular motion in fungi, intestinal contractions and microfluidic surface waves. These results open up the possibility that transport across membranes can be actively tuned by external stimuli, with potential applications to nanoscale pumping, osmosis and dynamical ultrafiltration.
MicroMegascope
Laboratoire Micromégas - Luca Canale, Axel Laborieux, Agasthya Aroul Mogane, Laetitia Jubin, Jean Comtet, Antoine Lainé, Lydéric Bocquet, Alessandro Siria, Antoine Niguès
Nature Physics - - DOI:10.1088/1361-6528/aacbad - 2018
Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) allows to reconstruct the topography of surface with a resolution in the nanometer range. The exceptional resolution attainable with the AFM makes this instrument a key tool in nanoscience and technology. The core of the set-up relies on the detection of the mechanical properties of a micro-oscillator when approached to a sample to image. Despite the fact that AFM is nowadays a very common instrument for research and development applications, thanks to the exceptional performances and the relative simplicity to use it, the fabrication of the micrometric scale mechanical oscillator is still a very complicated and expensive task requiring a dedicated platform. Being able to perform atomic force microscopy with a macroscopic oscillator would make the instrument more versatile and accessible for an even larger spectrum of applications and audiences. We present for the first time atomic force imaging with a centimetric oscillator. We show how it is possible to perform topographical images with nanometric resolution with a grams tuning fork. The images presented here are obtained with an aluminum tuning fork of centimeter size as sensor on which an accelerometer is glued on one prong to measure the oscillation of the resonator. In addition to the stunning sensitivity, by imaging both in air and in liquid, we show the high versatility of such oscillator. The set up proposed here can be extended to numerous experiments where the probe needs to be heavy and/or very complex as well as the environment.
“Dripplon: localized and super fast ripples of water confined between graphene sheets
Laboratoire Micromégas - Hiroaki Yoshida, Vojtěch Kaiser, Benjamin Rotenberg & Lydéric Bocquet
Nature Communications - 1496 - DOI:10.1088/1361-6528/aacbad - 2018
Carbon materials have unveiled outstanding properties as membranes for water transport, both in 1D carbon nanotube and between 2D graphene layers. In the ultimate confinement, water properties however strongly deviate from the continuum, showing exotic properties with numerous counterparts in fields ranging from nanotribology to biology. Here, by means of molecular dynamics, we show a self-organized inhomogeneous structure of water confined between graphene sheets, whereby the very strong localization of water defeats the energy cost for bending the graphene sheets. This leads to a two-dimensional water droplet accompanied by localized graphene ripples, which we call “dripplon.” Additional osmotic effects originating in dissolved impurities are shown to further stabilize the dripplon. Our analysis also reveals a counterintuitive superfast dynamics of the dripplons, comparable to that of individual water molecules. They move like a (nano-) ruck in a rug, with water molecules and carbon atoms exchanging rapidly across the dripplon interface.
Dramatic pressure-sensitive ion conduction in conical nanopores
Laboratoire Micromégas - Laetitia Jubin, Anthony Poggioli, Alessandro Siria, and Lydéric Bocquet
Nature Communications - 115 (16) 4063-4068 - doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1721987115 - 2018
Ion transporters in Nature exhibit a wealth of complex transport properties such as voltage gating, activation, and mechanosensitive behavior. When combined, such processes result in advanced ionic machines achieving active ion transport, high selectivity, or signal processing. On the artificial side, there has been much recent progress in the design and study of transport in ionic channels, but mimicking the advanced functionalities of ion transporters remains as yet out of reach. A prerequisite is the development of ionic responses sensitive to external stimuli. In the present work, we report a counterintuitive and highly nonlinear coupling between electric and pressure-driven transport in a conical nanopore, manifesting as a strong pressure dependence of the ionic conductance. This result is at odds with standard linear response theory and is akin to a mechanical transistor functionality. We fully rationalize this behavior on the basis of the coupled electrohydrodynamics in the conical pore by extending the Poisson–Nernst–Planck–Stokes framework. The model is shown to capture the subtle mechanical balance occurring within an extended spatially charged zone in the nanopore. The pronounced sensitivity to mechanical forcing offers leads in tuning ion transport by mechanical stimuli. The results presented here provide a promising avenue for the design of tailored membrane functionalities.
“Cross-over of the power law exponent for carbon nanotube conductivity as a function of salinity
Laboratoire Micromégas - Yuki Uematsu, Roland R. Netz, Lydéric Bocquet
J Phys Chem C - 122, 11 2992-2997 - doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcb.8b01975 - 2018
IOn the basis of the Poisson–Boltzmann equation in cylindrical coordinates, we calculate the conductivity of a single charged nanotube filled with electrolyte. The conductivity as a function of the salt concentration follows a power-law, the exponent of which has been controversially discussed in the literature. We use the co-ion-exclusion approximation and obtain the crossover between different asymptotic power-law behaviors analytically. Numerically solving the full Poisson–Boltzmann equation, we also calculate the complete diagram of exponents as a function of the salt concentration and the pH for tubes with different radii and pKa values. We apply our theory to recent experimental results on carbon nanotubes using the pKa as a fit parameter. In good agreement with the experimental data, the theory shows power-law behavior with the exponents 1/3 at high pH and 1/2 at low pH, with a crossover depending on salt concentration, tube radius and pKa.
Shear thinning in non-Brownian suspensions
Laboratoire Micromégas - Guillaume Chatté, Jean Comtet, Antoine Niguès, Lydéric Bocquet, Alessandro Siria, Guylaine Ducouret, François Lequeux, Nicolas Lenoir, Guillaume Ovarleze and Annie Colin
Soft Matter - 14 879-893 - doi: 10.1039/c7sm01963g - 2018
We study the flow of suspensions of non-Brownian particles dispersed into a Newtonian solvent. Combining capillary rheometry and conventional rheometry, we evidence a succession of two shear thinning regimes separated by a shear thickening one. Through X-ray radiography measurements, we show that during each of those regimes, the flow remains homogeneous and does not involve particle migration. Using a quartz-tuning fork based atomic force microscope, we measure the repulsive force profile and the microscopic friction coefficient μ between two particles immersed into the solvent, as a function of normal load. Coupling measurements from those three techniques, we propose that (1) the first shear-thinning regime at low shear rates occurs for a lubricated rheology and can be interpreted as a decrease of the effective volume fraction under increasing particle pressures, due to short-ranged repulsive forces and (2) the second shear thinning regime after the shear-thickening transition occurs for a frictional rheology and can be interpreted as stemming from a decrease of the microscopic friction coefficient at large normal load.
Active sieving across driven nanopores for tunable selectivity
Laboratoire Micromégas - Sophie Marbach and Lydéric Bocqueta)
J Phys Chem C - 147 15 - doi.org/10.1063/1.4997993 - 2018
Molecular separation traditionally relies on sieving processes across passive nanoporous membranes. Here we explore theoretically the concept of non-equilibrium active sieving. We investigate a simple model for an active noisy nanopore, where gating—in terms of size or charge—is externally driven at a tunable frequency. Our analytical and numerical results unveil a rich sieving diagram in terms of the forced gating frequency. Unexpectedly, the separation ability is strongly increased as compared to its passive (zero frequency) counterpart. It also points to the possibility of tuning dynamically the osmotic pressure. Active separation outperforms passive sieving and represents a promising avenue for advanced filtration.

25 publications.