Ion transport through nanopores: From living cells to<br/><br/>diodes and transistors<br/><br/>

Friday, December 11, 2009 - 9:40am - 10:20am
EE/CS 3-180
Zuzanna Siwy (University of California)
Keywords: nanofluidics, channel, diode, ion current

Abstract: Transport through nanopores and ion channels exists in virtually all biological cells and is important in such things as the regulation of heart function, nerve signals, and delivery of nutrients to the cell. Nanopores have also started to play a major role in contemporary biotechnology, because many separation and sensing processes require pores with nanometer-sized openings. My scientific interests have been focused on fabricating synthetic single nanopores with applications in biophysics and nanotechnology. The nanopores that we fabricate by the track-etching technique have diameters as small as 1 nanometer, they have controlled geometry and surface chemistry. I will show application of these nanopores as devices for controlling the flow of ions and charged molecules in a solution, functioning as ionic bipolar and unipolar diodes as well as ionic transistors. These functions are achieved by patterning the surface charge of the pore walls. Our systems will be applicable in nanofluidic, lab-on-the-chip, and biosensing systems. An example for application of ionic diodes in building sensors for anthrax will be discussed. I will also show how to induce ion current oscillations in time with
frequencies between tens of Hz and fractions of Hz.
MSC Code: