Boron Nitride Nanoporous Membranes with High Surface Charge by Atomic Layer Deposition

Rok publikacji: 2017
Wydawca:  ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2017, 9 (19), 16669–16678
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M. Weber, B. Koonkaew, S. Balme, I. Utke, F. Picaud, I. Iatsunskyi, L. E. Coy, P. Miele, M. Bechelany
In this work, we report the design and the fine-tuning of boron nitride single nanopore and nanoporous membranes by atomic layer deposition (ALD). First, we developed an ALD process based on the use of BBr3 and NH3 as precursors in order to synthesize BN thin films. The deposited films were characterized in terms of thickness, composition, and microstructure. Next, we used the newly developed process to grow BN films on anodic aluminum oxide nanoporous templates, demonstrating the conformality benefit of BN prepared by ALD, and its scalability for the manufacturing of membranes. For the first time, the ALD process was then used to tune the diameter of fabricated single transmembrane nanopores by adjusting the BN thickness and to enable studies of the fundamental aspects of ionic transport on a single nanopore. At pH = 7, we estimated a surface charge density of 0.16 C·m–2 without slip and 0.07 C·m–2 considering a reasonable slip length of 3 nm. Molecular dynamics simulations performed with experimental conditions confirmed the conductivities and the sign of surface charges measured. The high ion transport results obtained and the ability to fine-tune nanoporous membranes by such a scalable method pave the way toward applications such as ionic separation, energy harvesting, and ultrafiltration devices.

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