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United States Patent Application

View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A gating mechanism that uses a capillary stabilized liquid as a reversible, reconfigurable gate that fills and seals pores in the closed state, and creates a non-fouling, liquid-lined pore in the open state is disclosed. Theoretical modeling and experiments demonstrate that for each transport substance, the gating threshold--the pressure needed to open the pores--can be rationally tuned over a wide pressure range. This enables realizing in one system differential response profiles for a variety of liquids and gases, even letting liquids flow through the pore while preventing gas from escaping. These capabilities allow dynamic modulation of gas-liquid sorting and to separate multi-phase mixtures, with the liquid lining ensuring sustained antifouling behavior. Because the liquid gating strategy enables efficient short-term and long-term operation and can be applied to a variety of pore structures and membrane materials, and to nano, micro as well as macroscale fluid systems, the gating systems is useful in a wide range of applications.
AIZENBERG, Joanna (Boston, MA), HOU, Xu (Somerville, MA), KHAN, Mughees (Belmont, MA), TESLER, Alexander (Jerusalem, IL)
15/ 549,991
February 9, 2016
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT [0002] The present invention was made with United States government support under Grant No. DE-AR0000326 awarded by the ARPA-E, Department of Energy. The United States government may have certain rights in this invention.