Compression-modulated tunable-pore carbon-nanotube membrane filters

Xuesong Li, Guangyu Zhu, Jonathan S. Dordick, Pulickel M. Ajayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The filtration of a series of protein molecules with molecular weights ranging from 14 to 540 kDa using highly compressible tunable-pore carbon-nanotube membranes (CNM) is described. The tunable-pore property of the nanotube membrane allows to perform the separation of species of different sizes, within the expandable pore-size range in the nanotube membrane by setting the same membrane at different thicknesses via uniaxial compression, without changing the filter. The mechanical response of the CNM in compression exhibits excellent resilience and the filter can be elastically cycled a number of times without any significant reduction in the CNM thickness. This provides an easy way to clean the membranes. These CNM can also act as immobilized enzyme reactors, which can lead to facile, integrated, and continuous-flow biotransformation-separation systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-599
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Filters
  • Membranes
  • Proteins


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