Nanopore Fabrication by Controlled Dielectric Breakdown

Title: Nanopore Fabrication by Controlled Dielectric Breakdown
Authors: Kwok, Harold
Briggs, Kyle
Tabard-Cossa, Vincent
Date: 2014-03-25
Abstract: Nanofabrication techniques for achieving dimensional control at the nanometer scale are generally equipment-intensive and time-consuming. The use of energetic beams of electrons or ions has placed the fabrication of nanopores in thin solid-state membranes within reach of some academic laboratories, yet these tools are not accessible to many researchers and are poorly suited for mass-production. Here we describe a fast and simple approach for fabricating a single nanopore down to 2-nm in size with sub-nm precision, directly in solution, by controlling dielectric breakdown at the nanoscale. The method relies on applying a voltage across an insulating membrane to generate a high electric field, while monitoring the induced leakage current. We show that nanopores fabricated by this method produce clear electrical signals from translocating DNA molecules. Considering the tremendous reduction in complexity and cost, we envision this fabrication strategy would not only benefit researchers from the physical and life sciences interested in gaining reliable access to solid-state nanopores, but may provide a path towards manufacturing of nanopore-based biotechnologies.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092880
CollectionPhysique // Physics
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