Ion behavior confined in extended nanospace (10 1-10 3 nm) is important for nanofluidics and nanochemistry with dominant surface effects. In this paper, we developed a new measurement technique of ion distribution in the nanochannel by super-resolution-laser-induced fluorescence. Stimulated emission depletion microscopy was used to achieve a spatial resolution of 87 nm higher than the diffraction limit. Fluorescein was used for ratiometric measurement of pH with two excitation wavelengths. The pH profile in a 2D nanochannel of 410 nm width and 405 nm depth was successfully measured at an uncertainty of 0.05. The excess protons, showing lower pH than the bulk, nonuniformly distributed in the nanochannel to cancel the negative charge of glass wall, especially when the electric double layer is thick compared to the channel size. The present study first revealed the ion distribution near the surface or in the nanochannel, which is directly related to the electric double layer. In addition, the obtained proton distribution is important to understand the nanoscale water structure between single molecules and continuum phase. This technique will greatly contribute to understanding the basic science in nanoscale and interfacial dynamics, which are strongly required to develop novel miniaturized systems for biochemical analysis and further applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry