Selective ionic transport through tunable subnanometer pores in single-layer graphene membranes

Sean C. O'Hern, Michael S H Boutilier, Juan Carlos Idrobo, Yi Song, Jing Kong, Tahar Laoui, Muataz Atieh, Rohit Karnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

340 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report selective ionic transport through controlled, high-density, subnanometer diameter pores in macroscopic single-layer graphene membranes. Isolated, reactive defects were first introduced into the graphene lattice through ion bombardment and subsequently enlarged by oxidative etching into permeable pores with diameters of 0.40 ± 0.24 nm and densities exceeding 1012 cm-2, while retaining structural integrity of the graphene. Transport measurements across ion-irradiated graphene membranes subjected to in situ etching revealed that the created pores were cation-selective at short oxidation times, consistent with electrostatic repulsion from negatively charged functional groups terminating the pore edges. At longer oxidation times, the pores allowed transport of salt but prevented the transport of a larger organic molecule, indicative of steric size exclusion. The ability to tune the selectivity of graphene through controlled generation of subnanometer pores addresses a significant challenge in the development of advanced nanoporous graphene membranes for nanofiltration, desalination, gas separation, and other applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1234-1241
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Graphite
Graphene
graphene
membranes
Membranes
porosity
Etching
etching
Oxidation
Nanofiltration
oxidation
Structural integrity
Desalination
Ion bombardment
retaining
exclusion
stopping
integrity
Functional groups
Cations

Keywords

  • desalination
  • filter
  • ion selective membrane
  • Molecular sieve
  • nanofiltration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

O'Hern, S. C., Boutilier, M. S. H., Idrobo, J. C., Song, Y., Kong, J., Laoui, T., ... Karnik, R. (2014). Selective ionic transport through tunable subnanometer pores in single-layer graphene membranes. Nano Letters, 14(3), 1234-1241. https://doi.org/10.1021/nl404118f

Selective ionic transport through tunable subnanometer pores in single-layer graphene membranes. / O'Hern, Sean C.; Boutilier, Michael S H; Idrobo, Juan Carlos; Song, Yi; Kong, Jing; Laoui, Tahar; Atieh, Muataz; Karnik, Rohit.

In: Nano Letters, Vol. 14, No. 3, 12.03.2014, p. 1234-1241.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

O'Hern, SC, Boutilier, MSH, Idrobo, JC, Song, Y, Kong, J, Laoui, T, Atieh, M & Karnik, R 2014, 'Selective ionic transport through tunable subnanometer pores in single-layer graphene membranes', Nano Letters, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 1234-1241. https://doi.org/10.1021/nl404118f
O'Hern SC, Boutilier MSH, Idrobo JC, Song Y, Kong J, Laoui T et al. Selective ionic transport through tunable subnanometer pores in single-layer graphene membranes. Nano Letters. 2014 Mar 12;14(3):1234-1241. https://doi.org/10.1021/nl404118f
O'Hern, Sean C. ; Boutilier, Michael S H ; Idrobo, Juan Carlos ; Song, Yi ; Kong, Jing ; Laoui, Tahar ; Atieh, Muataz ; Karnik, Rohit. / Selective ionic transport through tunable subnanometer pores in single-layer graphene membranes. In: Nano Letters. 2014 ; Vol. 14, No. 3. pp. 1234-1241.
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