Journal article

Observation of ionic Coulomb blockade in nanopores

Emergent behaviour from electron-transport properties is routinely observed in systems with dimensions approaching the nanoscale(1). However, analogous mesoscopic behaviour resulting from ionic transport has so far not been observed, most probably because of bottlenecks in the controlled fabrication of subnanometre nanopores for use in nanofluidics. Here, we report measurements of ionic transport through a single subnanometre pore junction, and the observation of ionic Coulomb blockade: the ionic counterpart of the electronic Coulomb blockade observed for quantum dots. Our findings demonstrate that nanoscopic, atomically thin pores allow for the exploration of phenomena in ionic transport, and suggest that nanopores may also further our understanding of transport through biological ion channels.

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