Electrostatic gating of ion transport in carbon nanotube porins: A modeling study

Yun Chiao Yao, Zhongwu Li, Alice J. Gillen, Shari Yosinski, Mark A. Reed, Aleksandr Noy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carbon nanotube porins (CNTPs) are biomimetic membrane channels that demonstrate excellent biocompatibility and unique water and ion transport properties. Gating transport in CNTPs with external voltage could increase control over ion flow and selectivity. Herein, we used continuum modeling to probe the parameters that enable and further affect CNTP gating efficiency, including the size and composition of the supporting lipid membrane, slip flow in the carbon nanotube, and the intrinsic electronic properties of the nanotube. Our results show that the optimal gated CNTP device consists of a semiconducting CNTP inserted into a small membrane patch containing an internally conductive layer. Moreover, we demonstrate that the ionic transport modulated by gate voltages is controlled by the charge distribution along the CNTP under the external gate electric potential. The theoretical understanding developed in this study offers valuable guidance for the design of gated CNTP devices for nanofluidic studies, novel biomimetic membranes, and cellular interfaces in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number204704
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 28 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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