Europhys. Lett.
Volume 67, Number 4, August 2004
Page(s) 683 - 690
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 01 August 2004
Europhys. Lett., 67 (4), pp. 683-690 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-10304-y

On the validity of continuous modelling of ion transport through nanochannels

A. Fulinski1, I. D. Kosinska1 and Z. Siwy2, 3

1  M. Smoluchowski Institute of Physics, Jagellonian University Reymonta 4, PL-30-059 Kraków, Poland
2  Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) - Planckstr. 1 D-64291 Darmstadt, Germany
3  Silesian University of Technology - Strzody 9, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland

(Received 12 November 2003; accepted in final form 4 June 2004)

Ion transport through nanopores is modelled by the Smoluchowski equation. The model, based on properties of a bulk electrolyte solution and containing no adjustable parameters, is compared with ion current data recorded for single cylindrical nanopores in polymeric films. It predicts qualitatively a possibility of constructing an ion current rectifier based on the symmetric nanopore with asymmetric charge distribution. Our experimental data, however, indicate that the bulk-type diffusion approach does not describe the surface current, which gives a significant contribution to the total ion current through nanopores.

87.16.Uv - Active transport processes; ion channels.
81.07.De - Nanotubes.
81.16.-c - Methods of nanofabrication and processing.

© EDP Sciences 2004