Precise and ultrafast molecular sieving through graphene oxide membranes

R. K. Joshi, P. Carbone, F. C. Wang, V. G. Kravets, Y. Su, I. V. Grigorieva, H. A. Wu, A. K. Geim, R. R. Nair

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Graphene-based materials can have well-defined nanometer pores and can exhibit low frictional water flow inside them, making their properties of interest for filtration and separation. We investigate permeation through micrometer-thick laminates prepared by means of vacuum filtration of graphene oxide suspensions. The laminates are vacuum-tight in the dry state but, if immersed in water, act as molecular sieves, blocking all solutes with hydrated radii larger than 4.5 angstroms. Smaller ions permeate through the membranes at rates thousands of times faster than what is expected for simple diffusion. We believe that this behavior is caused by a network of nanocapillaries that open up in the hydrated state and accept only species that fit in. The anomalously fast permeation is attributed to a capillary-like high pressure acting on ions inside graphene capillaries.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)752-754
    Number of pages2
    Issue number6172
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2014


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