Electrical detection and analysis of nanoparticles using a solid-state nanopore and microfluidic integration
We use a single nanopore, drilled with a TEM beam in a thin (20nm) dielectric membrane to analyse nanoparticles in aqueous solutions. The large spectrum of observable nanoparticles offered by these scalable nanopores make this technique stand out, for example in microbiology and DNA/protein sequencing applications.
Separating two electrolytes, the dielectric membrane allows an ionic current only to go through the nanopore it bears. We can monitor this ultra-low current and its fluctuations. When a nanoparticle of a size similar to the pore’s one goes near or through the pore, this current drops allowing us to record lots of information regarding this particle. We can access information about the size and apparent charge of the particle but also about its interactions with the other components of the electrolyte.
During my PhD I focus on achieving a better understanding and handling of the interaction between the dielectric membrane and the particles for more accurate and reliable measurements. In the mean time I work on the integration of these chips into a microfluidic array to assure a better control over the numerous working parameters of this technique.