Research: Thrust 2

Understanding Ion Correlation, Dissipation, and Solvation Phenomena under Extreme Confinement

Thrust 2 focuses on understanding molecular and ion solvation and evaluating ion and fluid structure in the electrical double-layer in aqueous and organic media within SDNs. The specific goals are to: (i) develop a theoretical and experimental understanding of the organization and dynamics of nano-confined solvents and the solvation of ions and molecules in aqueous and organic media; (ii) determine the ion distribution in the electrical double layer (EDL), and how the EDL concept breaks down in extreme confinement of SDNs; to provide a new activity coefficient model for confined ions validated by experiment as well as (iii) probe the formation of long-lived ordering of ions in nanopores and its consequences for enhanced transport. Thrust 2 will study these effects in model SDN systems, informing Thrust 3 efforts in designing synthetic nanopores that may rival protein ion channels in chemical selectivity.