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Keywords:

  • colloids;
  • membranes;
  • nanoporous silica;
  • stimuli-responsive materials;
  • surface modifications

Abstract

Free-standing colloidal membranes (nanofrits) with varied thickness and nanopore size are fabricated and modified with pH-responsive poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) brushes. The polymer-modified nanofrits demonstrate excellent gating behavior for molecular diffusion: in the presence of acid, the diffusion rate of positively charged species significantly decreases. Increasing the polymer length and membrane thickness and decreasing the nanopore size leads to the complete acid-controlled gating of the membranes.