The surface property of the nanochannel plays an important role in controlling the ion transport through the nanochannel. Embedding electrodes outside the nanochannel (referred to as gated nanochannels) is a simple way to control the surface charge density of the nanochannel. Based on the numerical simulations using coupled Poisson- Nernst-Planck and Stokes equations, we show that a relative difference between the applied voltage and the gate voltage would alter the space charge density along the nanochannel. Thus, the gate voltage can tune the nanochannel into a p- or n-type field effect transistor, enabling the control of fluid flow in the nanochannel. The ionic currents reveal that the ionic flux can be controlled by the gate voltage. Analytical expressions are derived to estimate the effective space charge density and the fluid flow in the nanochannels for a fixed gate voltage. We also suggest potential applications of the gated nanochannels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-306
Number of pages10
JournalMicrofluidics and Nanofluidics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Diodes
  • Gate
  • Nanofluidic
  • Preconcentration
  • Space charge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Chemistry


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