Zhang M, Ngampeerapong C, Redin D, Ahmadian A, Sychugov I, Linnros J
ACS Nano 12 (5) 4574-4582 [2018-05-22; online 2018-04-19]
Large arrays of nanopores can be used for high-throughput biomolecule translocation with applications toward size discrimination and sorting at the single-molecule level. In this paper, we propose to discriminate DNA length by the capture rate of the molecules to an array of relatively large nanopores (50-130 nm) by introducing a thermal gradient by laser illumination in front of the pores balancing the force from an external electric field. Nanopore arrays defined by photolithography were batch processed using standard silicon technology in combination with electrochemical etching. Parallel translocation of single, fluorophore-labeled dsDNA strands is recorded by imaging the array with a fast CMOS camera. The experimental data show that the capture rates of DNA molecules decrease with increasing DNA length due to the thermophoretic effect of the molecules. It is shown that the translocation can be completely turned off for the longer molecule using an appropriate bias, thus allowing a size discrimination of the DNA translocation through the nanopores. A derived analytical model correctly predicts the observed capture rate. Our results demonstrate that by combining a thermal and a potential gradient at the nanopores, such large nanopore arrays can potentially be used as a low-cost, high-throughput platform for molecule sensing and sorting.