Journal: Nature Nanotechnology (2020)

Authors: Daria V. Andreeva, Maxim Trushin, Anna Nikitina, Mariana C. F. Costa, Pavel V. Cherepanov, Matthew Holwill, Siyu Chen, Kou Yang, See Wee Chee, Utkur Mirsaidov, Antonio H. Castro Neto & Kostya S. Novoselov.


Membranes are ubiquitous in nature with primary functions that include adaptive filtering and selective transport of chemical/molecular species. Being critical to cellular functions, they are also fundamental in many areas of science and technology. Of particular importance are the adaptive and programmable membranes that can change their permeability or selectivity depending on the environment. Here, we explore implementation of such biological functions in artificial membranes and demonstrate two-dimensional self-assembled heterostructures of graphene oxide and polyamine macromolecules, forming a network of ionic channels that exhibit regulated permeability of water and monovalent ions. This permeability can be tuned by a change of pH or the presence of certain ions. Unlike traditional membranes, the regulation mechanism reported here relies on specific interactions between the membranes’ internal components and ions. This allows fabrication of membranes with programmable, predetermined permeability and selectivity, governed by the choice of components, their conformation and their charging state.