Lipid bilayer membranes are important as fundamental structures in biology and possess characteristic water-permeability, stability, and mechanical properties. Water permeation through a lipid bilayer membrane occurs readily, and more readily at higher temperature, which is largely due to an enthalpy cost of the liquid-to-gas phase transition of water. A fullerene bilayer membrane formed by dissolution of a water-soluble fullerene, Ph5C 60K, has now been shown to possess properties entirely different from those of the lipid membranes. The fullerene membrane is several orders of magnitude less permeable to water than a lipid membrane, and the permeability decreases at higher temperature. Water permeation is burdened by a very large entropy loss and may be favored slightly by an enthalpy gain, which is contrary to the energetics observed for the lipid membrane. We ascribe this energetics to favorable interactions of water molecules to the surface of the fullerene molecules as they pass through the clefts of the rigid fullerene bilayer. The findings provide possibilities of membrane design in science and technology.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 2007 Sep 18|
- Bilayer membrane
- Entropy barrier
ASJC Scopus subject areas