Carbon nanotube-based permeable membranes

Jason K. Holt, Hyung Gyu Park, Olgica Bakajin, Aleksandr Noy, Thomas R Huser, David Eaglesham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A membrane of multiwall carbon nanotubes embedded in a silicon nitride matrix was fabricated for use in studying fluid mechanics on the nanometer scale. Characterization by fluorescent tracer diffusion and scanning electron microscopy suggests that the membrane is void-free near the silicon substrate on which it rests, implying that the hollow core of the nanotube is the only conduction path for molecular transport. Assuming Knudsen diffusion through this nanotube membrane, a maximum helium transport rate (for a pressure drop of 1 atm) of 0.25 cc/sec is predicted. Helium flow measurements of a nanoporous silicon nitride membrane, fabricated by sacrificial removal of carbon, give a flow rate greater than 1×10 -6 cc/sec. For viscous, laminar flow conditions, water is estimated to flow across the nanotube membrane (under a 1 atm pressure drop) at up to 2.8×10 -5 cc/sec (1.7 μL/min).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
EditorsJ. Liu, D. McIlroy, L. Merhari, J.P. Pendry, J.T. Borenstein, P. Grodzinski, L.P. Lee, Z.L. Wang
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventNanoengineered Assemblies and Advanced Micro/Nanosystems - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 13 2004Apr 16 2004


OtherNanoengineered Assemblies and Advanced Micro/Nanosystems
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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