The present invention relates to a physicochemically-active porous membrane for electrochemical cells that purports dual functions: an electronic insulator (separator) and a unidirectional ion-transporter (electrolyte). The electrochemical cell membrane is activated for the transport of ions by contiguous ion coordination sites on the interior two-dimensional surfaces of the trans-membrane unidirectional pores. One dimension of the pore surface has a macroscopic length (1 nm-1000 .mu.m) and is directed parallel to the direction of an electric field, which is produced between the cathode and the anode electrodes of an electrochemical cell. The membrane material is designed to have physicochemical interaction with ions. Control of the extent of the interactions between the ions and the interior pore walls of the membrane and other materials, chemicals, or structures contained within the pores provides adjustability of the ionic conductivity of the membrane.
U.S. GOVERNMENT RIGHTS
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Chicago, representing Argonne National Laboratory.