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Ionic amplifying circuits inspired by electronics and biology

Cite this dataset

Siwy, Zuzanna; Lucas, Rachel; Baker, Lane; Lin, Chih-Yuan (2021). Ionic amplifying circuits inspired by electronics and biology [Dataset]. Dryad.


Integrated circuits are present in all electronic devices, and enable signal amplification, modulation, and relay. Nature uses another type of circuits composed of channels in a cell membrane, which regulate and amplify transport of ions, not electrons and holes as is done in electronic systems. Here we show an abiotic ionic circuit that is inspired by concepts from electronics and biology. The circuit amplifies small ionic signals into ionic outputs, and its operation mimics the electronic Darlington amplifier composed of transistors. The individual transistors are pores equipped with three terminals including a gate that is able to enrich or deplete ions in the pore. The circuits we report function at gate voltages < 1 V, respond to sub-nA gate currents, and offer ion current amplification with a gain up to ~300. Ionic amplifiers are a logical step toward improving chemical and biochemical sensing, separations and amplification, among others.


The data sets provided in cvs files correspond to experimental recordings shown in the main manuscript and supporting information file.

All recordings were performed using Keithley 6487 picoammeter/voltage source and Keithley 2450 (Keithley Instruments, Cleveland, OH) as described in the Experimental Section of the manuscript.

Usage notes

This file was prepared by Zuzanna Siwy on July 29, 2021.

The uploaded data file correspond to experimental results presented in the following publication: R.A. Lucas, C.Y. Lin, Lane A. Baker, Z.S. Siwy, Nature Comm. vol. 11, article nr. 1568 (2020). The files

Principle investigators:

Zuzanna S. Siwy, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, e-mail address:

Lane A. Baker, Department of Chemistry, Indiana University, 800 E. Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, IN, 47405, USA, e-mail:

The data were recorded between winter 2019 and winter 2020. 

The project was supported by the National Science Foundation (CBET-1803262 & CBET-1803002).


National Science Foundation, Award: CBET-1803262

National Science Foundation, Award: CBET-1803002