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Controlled Breakdown

Democratizing Nanopore Science

CBD enables non-experts in nanofabrication to perform solid-state nanopore research and lets users focus on the development of applications.
Nanopore fabrication workflow by CBD

Nanopore Fabrication

by controlled breakdown

The controlled breakdown (CBD) nanopore fabrication method possesses the following distinguishing attributes over other state-of-the-art beam-based fabrication techniques, like TEM drilling:

  • Ultra-low cost: Price of equipment and its operation is negligible compared to beam-based methods.
  • Precise pore sizing: Diameter of pore from 0.5-nm to 100-nm achieved with sub-nm precision.
  • Fast and Efficient: Pore forms directly in salt solution in seconds to minutes, and is ready for biosensing, eliminating many lengthly manipulating steps.
  • Versatility: Applicable to various materials (e.g. SiN, graphene), multilayered membranes (incl. metal-coated dielectrics) and diverse device architectures (e.g. microfluidics).
  • Amenable to integration: pores can be fabricated in-situ, within embedded structures with no need for direct line-of-sight access.


Our Nature Protocols 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.

You can download all the hardware and software files for free here: CBD Files (note assembly is required). 

If you are interested in a turn-key solution contact Northern Nanopore Instruments.

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Accelerating developments of
solid-state nanopore research
and technologies.

In 2020, members of the T.-Cossa Lab founded Northern Nanopore Instruments, an instrumentation company that specializes in research tools and solutions to support fundamental and applied research on solid-state nanopores.

NNi offers instrumentations for fabricating nanopores, and performing high-bandwidth, low-noise sensing. NNi also provide advanced, yet easy to use data analytics software, as well as a range of custom research solutions your lab may need to increase the throughput of research and the pace of discoveries.

NNi also provides free resources to quickly become a skilled nanopore researcher. Check out this training material, the pore size calculator and its YouTube channel for video tutorials