In order to support certain applications, one wants to make the membrane more attractive for the attachment of certain substances or to enhance their transport through the membrane. A surface functionalisation can make the membrane for example more hydrophilic or more hydrophobic, or can be used to immobilise certain biomolecules. This happens by chemical modification of the surface, which can be localised and even different on the two sides of the membrane. To reach this effect certain functional groups or molecules are bound to the terminating groups of the molecules which form the membrane.
Another possible modification of CNMs can be achieved by lithographical structuring using methods known from CMOS production. Thus CNMs can be perforated in a controlled manner or manufactured in shapes suitable for integrated circuits. Decoration of even free-standing CNMs with defined metallic structures is also possible.