Anatoli V. Melechko

Tailored transport through vertically aligned carbon nanofibre membranes; controlled synthesis, modelling, and passive diffusion experiments

J D Fowlkes et al 2005 Nanotechnology 16 3101-3109   doi:10.1088/0957-4484/16/12/063

J D Fowlkes1,2,4, B L Fletcher1, E D Hullander1, K L Klein1,2, D K Hensley1, A V Melechko1,2, M L Simpson1,2 and M J Doktycz1,3
1 Molecular-Scale Engineering and Nanoscale Technologies Research Group, Condensed Matter Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PO Box 2008, MS 6006, Oak Ridge, TN 37381-6006, USA
2 Materials Science and Engineering Department, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-2200, USA
3 Life Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PO Box 2008, MS 6123, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
4 Author to whom any correspondence should be addressed

Abstract. The ability to control the permeability of a synthetic membrane structure formed by a spatially stochastic forest of vertically aligned carbon nanofibres is demonstrated. Control of membrane pore size and morphology was achieved by varying the thickness of a uniform, conformal coating of SiO2 on the nanofibre surfaces. Characterization of passive diffusion using fluorescence microscopy and labelled latex beads confirms the ability to alter membrane permeability. Further, statistically reproducible transport regimes are predicted for the spatially stochastic membrane as a function of the nanofibre diameter by a Monte Carlo simulation technique. Realizing predictable nanoscale behaviour in a microscopically random, statistical structure is essential for applications requiring controlled, species specific transport.

Print publication: Issue 12 (December 2005)
Received 24 June 2005, in final form 30 September 2005
Published 11 November 2005

 Biological Nanoscale Systems group

Molecular Scale Engineering and Nanoscale Technologies group

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