Gate-All-Around Nanopore Osmotic Power Generators



Makusu Tsutsui, Wei Lun Hsu, Denis Garoli, Iat Wai Leong, Kazumichi Yokota, Hirofumi Daiguji, and Tomoji Kawai



Nanofluidic channels in a membrane represent a promising avenue for harnessing blue energy from salinity gradients, relying on permselectivity as a pivotal characteristic crucial for inducing electricity through diffusive ion transport. Surface charge emerges as a central player in the osmotic energy conversion process, emphasizing the critical significance of a judicious selection of membrane materials to achieve optimal ion permeability and selectivity within specific channel dimensions. Alternatively, here we report a field-effect approach for in situ manipulation of the ion selectivity in a nanopore. Application of voltage to a surround-gate electrode allows precise adjustment of the surface charge density at the pore wall. Leveraging the gating control, we demonstrate permselectivity turnover to enhanced cation selective transport in multipore membranes, resulting in a 6-fold increase in the energy conversion efficiency with a power density of 15 W/m2 under a salinity gradient. These findings not only advance our fundamental understanding of ion transport in nanochannels but also provide a scalable and efficient strategy for nanoporous membrane osmotic power generation.




ACS Nano: