Owing to the enormous interest in using nanotubes for applications including biosensors, drug delivery, tiny reaction chambers and transport vessels, research was initiated towards understanding the transport properties of nanotubes. An improved sol-gel template synthesis was established to prepare silica nanotubes with varying diameters and with different surface chemistries. Hydrophobically modified nanotube interior surfaces were labeled with adsorbed dyes and the diffusion of the dye molecules inside the individual tubes was investigated using fluorescence recovery after photo bleaching (FRAP) experiments. We have observed that the wetting probability of these hydrophobic nanotubes is a function of solvent composition and nanotube diameter. Silica nanotubes with positively charged interior have been synthesized and transport of single biomolecules through these nanotubes will be understood. Results from these experiments are important for enhancing our understanding of solvent behavior in confined environments and for discovering ways to better use tubes as tiny reaction chambers or transport vessels.
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Back to The 37th Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting (May 22-25, 2005)