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From the same journal

From the same journal

Electrically controlled water permeation through graphene oxide membranes

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  • K.-G. Zhou
  • K. S. Vasu
  • C. T. Cherian
  • M. Neek-Amal
  • Jason Chentian Zhang
  • H. Ghorbanfekr-Kalashami
  • K. Huang
  • O. P. Marshall
  • V. G. Kravets
  • J. Abraham
  • Y. Su
  • A. N. Grigorenko
  • Andrew Pratt
  • A. K. Geim
  • F. M. Peeters
  • K. S. Novoselov
  • R. R. Nair


Publication details

DateAccepted/In press - 14 May 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 11 Jul 2018
Number of pages5
Early online date11/07/18
Original languageEnglish


Developing ‘smart’ membranes that allow precise and reversible control of molecular permeation using external stimuli would be of intense interest for many areas of science: from physics and chemistry to life-sciences (1-10). In particular, electrical control of water permeation through membranes is a long-sought objective and is of crucial importance for healthcare and related areas. Currently, such adjustable membranes are limited to the modulation of wetting of the membranes5 and controlled ion transport1, but not the controlled mass flow of water. Despite intensive theoretical work6-9,11-14 yielding conflicting results, the experimental realisation of electrically controlled water permeation has not yet been achieved. Here we report electrically controlled water permeation through micrometer-thick graphene oxide (GO) membranes. By controllable electric breakdown—conductive filaments are created in the GO membrane. The electric field concentrated around such current carrying filaments leads to controllable ionisation of water molecules in graphene capillaries, allowing precise control of water permeation: from ultrafast permeation to complete blocking. Our work opens up an avenue for developing smart membrane technologies and can revolutionize the field of artificial biological systems, tissue engineering and filtration.

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© 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

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