We demonstrate a novel nanofluidic diode that produces rectification factors in excess of 1000. The nanofluidic diode consists of ion permselective nanopores that connect two reservoirs of different diameters- a micropore reservoir and a macropore reservoir. On the application of +100 V to the micropore, a low OFF state current is observed. The OFF state is caused by formation of the ion depleted zone in the micropore because the anions are prevented from entering the nanopores from the micropore and the cations are depleted in this region to maintain charge neutrality. On the application of −100 V, we observe a high ON state current. The ON state is caused by formation of the ion enriched zone in the microchannel because the anions cannot pass through the nanopores and accumulate in the microchannel. To maintain charge neutrality the cations also become enriched in the microchannel. The ratio of ON state current to the OFF state current gives the rectification of current. Here, plasma oxidation is used to achieve a nanopore with a large wall surface charge density of σn = −55 mC/m2 which yields a rectification of current on the order of 3500 that is nearly two orders of magnitude higher than those reported thus far. In contrast to the other nanofluidic diodes, this nanofluidic diode does not introduce asymmetry to the nanopore, but asymmetry is produced by having the nanopores join a micropore and a macropore. Introduction of asymmetry into the fluidic reservoirs which the nanopores connect is quite simple. Hence, the nanofluidic diode is easy to scale up to industrial level.
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