Nanopores have been used for myriad applications ranging from water desalination, gas separation, fluidic circuits, DNA sequencing, and preconcentration of ions. In all of these applications noise is an important factor during signal measurement. Noisy signals disrupt the exact measuring signal in almost all of these applications. In this paper, we rationalize whether current oscillations should be classified only as noise or the physical disturbance in ionic charges has some other meaning. We infer that the physical disturbance in ionic charges and the current oscillations are not noise but can be chaos. Chaos is present in the system due to depletion of the ions, created by nonequilibrium anharmonic distribution in the electrostatic potential. In other words, multiple electric potential wells are observed in the nanoporous system. The multiple electric potential wells leads to bi-directional hopping of ions as the ions transport through the pore. The bi-directional hopping results in current oscillations. This paper suggests that chaos exists from a deterministic perspective and that there is no stochastic element leading to current oscillations. We prove this case by considering a simple oscillator model involving the electrostatic and dissipative forces in order to model ionic current. We observed current oscillations even in the absence of a stochastic noise force. Hence, we state that current oscillations in nanopores can be due to chaos as well and not necessarily due to noise. Furthermore, the color associated with the chaotic spectrum is not brown but pink, with 1/f type dynamics similar to the 1/f type pink noise presented by theorists and experimentalists. However, the 1/f type pink chaos exists due to deterministic current oscillations and not due to a stochastic fluctuating noise force.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46092-46100
Number of pages9
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number73
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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