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PLoS One. 2014 Mar 21;9(3):e92880. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092880. eCollection 2014.

Nanopore fabrication by controlled dielectric breakdown.

Author information

1
Department of Physics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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.

PMID:
24658537
PMCID:
PMC3962464
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0092880
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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