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Solid State Nanopore as a Single DNA Molecule Detector

Jiali Li, Derek Stein, Cai Qun, Eric Brandin, Hui Wang, Albert Huang, Dan Branton and Jene Golovchenko
Department of Physics, Harvard University, US

Keywords: Solid-state nanopores devices, DNA molecule detection

Abstract:
We report on the use of nanometer scale diameter, solid state nanopores as single molecule detectors of double stranded DNA molecules. These solid-state nanopores are fabricated in thin membranes of silicon nitride, by ion beam sculpting 1. They produce discrete electronic signals when an electrically biased nanopore is exposed to DNA molecules in aqueous salt solutions. We demonstrate examples of such electronic signals for 3 KB and 10 KB double stranded DNA molecules which show that these molecules are individually translocating through the nanopore during the detection process. The translocating time for 10 KB double stranded DNA is about 3 times longer than the 3 KB, demonstrating that a solid state nanopore device can be used to detect the lengths of double stranded DNA molecules. Similarities and differences with signals obtained from single stranded DNA in a biological nanopores are discussed 2. 1. Jiali Li, Derek Stein, Ciaran McMullan, Daniel Branton, Michael J. Aziz, and Jene Golovchenko. Ion Beam Sculpting at nanometer length scales. Nature 412, 166-169 (2001). 2. Meller, A., L. Nivon, E. Brandin, Golovchenko, J. & Branton, D. Rapid nanopore discrimination between single polynucleotide molecules. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97, 1079-1084 (2000).

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