4 years ago

Surface effects on ionic Coulomb blockade in nanometer-size pores.

Yuriy V Pershin, Hiroya Tanaka, Massimiliano Di Ventra, Hideo Iizuka
Ionic Coulomb blockade in nanopores is a phenomenon that shares some similarities but also differences with its electronic ounterpart. Here, we investigate extensively this phenomenon using all-atom molecular dynamics of ionic transport through nanopores of about one nanometer in diameter and up to several nanometers in length. Our goal is to better understand the role of atomic roughness and structure of the pore walls in facilitating ionic Coulomb blockade. Our numerical results reveal the following general trends. First, the nanopore selectivity changes with its diameter, and the nanopore position in the membrane influences the current strength. Second, the ionic transport through the nanopore takes place in a hopping-like fashion over a set of discretized states caused by local electric fields due to membrane atoms. In some cases, this creates a slow-varying ``crystal-like'' structure of ions inside the nanopore. Third, while at a given voltage, the resistance of the nanopore depends on its length, the slope of this dependence appears to be independent of the molarity of ions. An effective kinetic model that captures the ionic Coulomb blockade behavior observed in MD simulations is formulated.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/aa9a14

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6528/aa9a14

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