We invented nanopore fabrication by controlled breakdown (CBD), a simple, rapid, and cost-effective method for creating individual solid-state nanopores directly in solution (e.g. 1M KCl pH8). Conventional transmission electron and focused ion beam pore drilling methods were slow, cumbersome, suffered from low yield, and required expensive equipment operated by expert users. In contrast, our CBD method consists in simply applying an electric field across a solid-state membrane, with a strength that is near the dielectric breakdown strength of the membrane. A tunneling current is monitored until a sharp increase indicates the spontaneous formation of a nanopore and the onset of ionic current. The pore size can be precisely enlarged by applying time-varying voltage waveforms.
To learn more check out our original article in PLoS ONE and our Nature Protocols that presents our accumulated knowledge of nanopore fabrication by CBD since the initial publication of the method, and freely provide to the research community a software, plans for building the hardware and our latest protocols required to reliably automate fabrication of low noise, precisely sized, solid-state nanopores.
If you are interested in a turn-key solution contact Northern Nanopore Instruments.
We are continuing to expand the fabrication capabilities of CBD, in terms of speed, precision, and array size.
Learn more about the control breakdown fabrication here.