Construction and application of photoresponsive smart nanochannels
•The smart nanochannels can be designed and constructed from photoresponsive materials.•The existing photoresponsive nanochannels were summarized.•The photoresponsive nanochannels possess vast potential applications.
In living organisms, many biological processes are inextricably linked with light, such as the photosynthesis systems and rhodopsin. Hence, construction of light-sensitive biomimetic-nanochannels, which can realize the functions of cells and other membrane structures with high degree of spatial and temporal control, is particularly attractive and challenging. As a cornerstone of light-sensitive nanochannels, the photoresponsive materials are a big family and at their mature stage after several decades of development, which can provide different strategies to construct biomimetic photoresponsive nanochannels. In this review, we mainly summarize the construction and applications of photoresponsive nanochannels on the basis of various photoresponsive materials. The construction of photoresponsive nanochannels can be classified into four categories: photoresponsive inorganic nanochannels based on inorganic-compound-based photonic sensitive materials; photoresponsive organic nanochannels based on organic-compound-based photonic sensitive materials; photoresponsive polymers nanochannel based on photoresponsive polymers materials and potential photoresponsive nanochannels based on other photoresponsive materials. After introducing the construction of photoresponsive nanochannels, the review highlights some of the most recent applications of photoresponsive nanochannels in separation, energy conversion and storage, drug delivery and so on.
Journal: Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology C: Photochemistry Reviews - Volume 26, March 2016, Pages 31–47