Analysis of ionic conductance of carbon nanotubes

P.M. Biesheuvel, M.Z. Bazant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


We use space-charge (SC) theory (also called the capillary pore model) to describe the ionic conductance, G, of charged carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Based on the reversible adsorption of hydroxyl ions to CNT pore walls, we use a Langmuir isotherm for surface ionization and make calculations as a function of pore size, salt concentration c, and pH. Using realistic values for surface site density and pK, SC theory well describes published experimental data on the conductance of CNTs. At extremely low salt concentration, when the electric potential becomes uniform across the pore, and surface ionization is low, we derive the scaling Gc, while for realistic salt concentrations, SC theory does not lead to a simple power law for G(c).

Original languageEnglish
Article number050601
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review. E, Statistical nonlinear, and soft matter physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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