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Fabrication of Solid State Nanopore in Thin Silicon Membrane Using Low Cost Multistep Chemical Etching

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA
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Academic Editor: Rafael Luque
Materials 2015, 8(11), 7389-7400; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma8115390
Received: 31 July 2015 / Revised: 21 October 2015 / Accepted: 27 October 2015 / Published: 3 November 2015
Nanopore-based analysis is currently an area of great interest in many disciplines with the potential for exceptionally versatile applications in medicine. This work presents a novel step towards fabrication of a single solid-state nanopore (SSSN) in a thin silicon membrane. Silicon nanopores are realized using multistep processes on both sides of n-type silicon-on-insulator (SOI) <100> wafer with resistivity 1–4 Ω·cm. An electrochemical HF etch with low current density (0.47 mA/cm2) is employed to produce SSSN. Blue LED is considered to emit light in a narrow band region which facilitates the etching procedure in a unilateral direction. This helps in production of straight nanopores in n-type Si. Additionally, a variety of pore diameters are demonstrated using different HF concentrations. Atomic force microscopy is used to demonstrate the surface morphology of the fabricated pores in non-contact mode. Pore edges exhibit a pronounced rounded shape and can offer high stability to fluidic artificial lipid bilayer to study membrane proteins. Electrochemically-fabricated SSSN has excellent smoothness and potential applications in diagnostics and pharmaceutical research on transmembrane proteins and label free detection. View Full-Text
Keywords: solid state nanopore; silicon; electrochemical etching; HF; atomic force microscopy solid state nanopore; silicon; electrochemical etching; HF; atomic force microscopy
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Khan, M.S.; Williams, J.D. Fabrication of Solid State Nanopore in Thin Silicon Membrane Using Low Cost Multistep Chemical Etching. Materials 2015, 8, 7389-7400.

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