|Ionic Conductance of Carbon Nanotubes: Confronting Literature Data with Nanofluidic Theory |
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The field of ion transport through carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is marked by a large variability of the ionic conductance values reported by different groups. There is also a large uncertainty concerning the relative contributions of channel and access resistances in the experimentally measured currents, both depending on experimental parameters (nanotube length and diameter). In this perspective article, we discuss the ionic conductance values reported so far in the case of 2 individual CNTs and compare them with standard nano-fluidic models considering both the access and channel resistances. With a view toward guiding experimentalists, we thus show in which conditions the access or the channel resistance can predominate in CNTs. We explain in particular that it is not justified to use phenomenological models neglecting the channel resistance in the case of micrometer-long CNTs. This comparison reveals that most experimental conductance values can be explained in the framework of current nanofluidic models by considering experimental variations of slip length and surface charge density and that just a few extraordinarily high values cannot be accounted for even using extreme parameter values. Finally, we discuss how to complete existing models and how to improve the statistical reliability of experimental data in the field.