Letter | Published:

Local electrical potential detection of DNA by nanowire–nanopore sensors

Nature Nanotechnology volume 7, pages 119125 (2012) | Download Citation

Abstract

Nanopores could potentially be used to perform single-molecule DNA sequencing at low cost and with high throughput1,2,3,4. Although single base resolution and differentiation have been demonstrated with nanopores using ionic current measurements5,6,7, direct sequencing has not been achieved because of the difficulties in recording very small (pA) ionic currents at a bandwidth consistent with fast translocation speeds1,2,3. Here, we show that solid-state nanopores can be combined with silicon nanowire field-effect transistors to create sensors in which detection is localized and self-aligned at the nanopore. Well-defined field-effect transistor signals associated with DNA translocation are recorded when an ionic strength gradient is imposed across the nanopores. Measurements and modelling show that field-effect transistor signals are generated by highly localized changes in the electrical potential during DNA translocation, and that nanowire–nanopore sensors could enable large-scale integration with a high intrinsic bandwidth.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank A. Meller, M. Wanunu, D. Casanova, J. Huang, J. Cahoon and T.J. Kempa for helpful discussions. C.M.L. acknowledges support of this work from a NIH Director's Pioneer Award (5DP1OD003900).

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA

    • Ping Xie
    • , Quan Qing
    •  & Charles M. Lieber
  2. Division of Physics and Applied Physics, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637371, Singapore

    • Qihua Xiong
  3. Division of Microelectronics, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 619798, Singapore

    • Qihua Xiong
  4. National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, China, Beijing 100910, PR China

    • Ying Fang
  5. School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA

    • Charles M. Lieber

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Contributions

P.X., Q.X., Y.F. and C.M.L. designed the experiments. P.X., Q.X. and Y.F. performed the experiments. P.X. performed the modelling and calculation. P.X. and Q.Q. wrote the program for data processing. P.X., Q.X., Y.F., Q.Q. and C.M.L. analysed the data and wrote the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Charles M. Lieber.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2011.217

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