Active sieving : from flapping nano-doors to vibrating nanotubes
Filtering specific molecules is a challenge faced for several vital
needs: from biomedical applications like dialysis to the intensive
production of clean water. The domain has been boosted over the last
decades by the possibilities offered by nanoscale materials. Filtration
is however always designed according to a passive sieving perspective:
a membrane with small and properly decorated pores allows for the
selection of the targeted molecules. This inevitably impedes the flux
and transport, making separation processes costly in terms of energy.
Here we investigate alternative approaches to separation and
filtration. We explore the possibility of non-equilibrium sieving,
harnessing the difference in the molecular dynamics of particles to
separate them across "active" nanopores.