Electrostatic correlations on the ionic selectivity of cylindrical membrane nanopores

Sahin Buyukdagli, Tapio Ala-Nissilä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


We characterize the role of electrostatic fluctuations on the charge selectivity of cylindrical nanopores confining electrolyte mixtures. To this end, we develop an extended one-loop theory that can account for correlation effects induced by the surface charge, nanoconfinement of the electrolyte, and interfacial polarization charges associated with the low permittivity membrane. We validate the quantitative accuracy of the theory by comparisons with previously obtained Monte-Carlo simulation data from the literature, and scrutinize in detail the underlying forces driving the ionic selectivity of the nanopore. In the biologically relevant case of electrolytes with divalent cations such as CaCl2 in negatively charged nanopores, electrostatic correlations associated with the dense counterion layer in the channel result in an increase of the pore coion density with the surface charge. This peculiarity analogous to the charge inversion phenomenon remains intact for dielectrically inhomogeneous pores, which indicates that the effect should be observable in nanofiltration membranes or DNA-blocked nanopores characterized by a low membrane permittivity. Our results show that a quantitatively accurate consideration of correlation effects is necessary to determine the ionic selectivity of nanopores in the presence of electrolytes with multivalent counterions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number064701
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • electrostatic correlations
  • ionic liquid
  • nanoporous materials
  • polarization
  • surface charge


Dive into the research topics of 'Electrostatic correlations on the ionic selectivity of cylindrical membrane nanopores'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this