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Porous Organic Cages as Synthetic Water Channels



Yi D. Yuan, Jinqiao Dong, Jie Liu, Daohui Zhao, Hui Wu, Wei Zhou, Hui X. Gan, Yen W. Tong, Jianwen Jiang, Dan Zhao


Nature has protein channels (e.g., aquaporins) that preferentially transport water molecules while rejecting even the smallest hydrated ions. Aspirations to create robust synthetic counterparts have led to the development of a few one-dimensional (1D) channels. However, replicating the performance of the protein channels in these synthetic water channels remains a challenge. The dimensionality of the synthetic water channels also imposes orientation requirements for satisfactory water permeation. Here we show that zero-dimensional (0D) porous organic cages (POCs) with nanoscale pores can effectively reject small cations and anions while allowing fast water permeation (ca. 109 water molecules per second) on the same magnitude as that of aquaporins. Water molecules are found to preferentially flow in single-file, branched chains within the POCs. This work widens the choice of water channel morphologies for water desalination applications.
Nature Communications


Porous materials, Water transportation, Water desalination


Yuan, Y. , Dong, J. , Liu, J. , Zhao, D. , Wu, H. , Zhou, W. , Gan, H. , Tong, Y. , Jiang, J. and Zhao, D. (2020), Porous Organic Cages as Synthetic Water Channels, Nature Communications, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created September 30, 2020, Updated July 27, 2022