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Nanogap tunnelling sensors

The detection and sequencing of biomolecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins at the single molecule level is of fundamental importance to biology and medicine. It is a capability that is vital to medical diagnostics, biomarker discovery, drug development, agricultural biotechnology, and many other applications of high relevance to society and science. We are developing cutting-edge solid-state sensors for the rapid electrical detection of biomolecules with single molecule resolution.

Our key enablers are nanogap electrodes which support electron tunneling made using a novel process developed in our group . A major advantage of our approach is the scalable manufacturing of the nanogap sensors using standard cleanroom methodology. We are exploring the integration of nanogap electrodes with solid-state nanopores and concurrently using tunneling and ionic currents to sense and control the passage of analytes. In addition to developing technologies towards sequencing DNA and RNA, we are also interested in studying other biomolecules such as peptides and proteins. Dynamic biomolecular interactions, such as protein-DNA binding, amenable to electrical detection are also being explored. 

This project is a collaboration between research groups from both KTH and KI with a multidisciplinary team consisting of experts in micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems, microfluidics, signal processing, experimental oncology, molecular biology and applied bioinformatics.

Keywords: crack junctions, nanogaps, solid state nanopores, electron tunneling, biomolecule sequencing, DNA

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Related publications

Dubois, V., Raja, S. N., Gehring, P., Caneva, S., van der Zant, H. S. J., Niklaus, F., & Stemme, G. (2018). Massively parallel fabrication of crack-defined gold break junctions featuring sub-3 nm gaps for molecular devices. Nature Communications, 9(1), 1–10.

Dubois, V., Niklaus, F., & Stemme, G. (2017). Design and fabrication of crack-junctions. Microsystems and Nanoengineering, 3(March), 1–9.

Dubois, V., Niklaus, F., & Stemme, G. (2016). Crack-Defined Electronic Nanogaps. Advanced Materials, 28(11), 2178–2182.

Project members

Prof. Göran Stemme

Prof. Frank Niklaus

Prof. Anna Herland

Dr. Noora Isoaho

Dr. Shyamprasad Natarajan Raja

Dr. Valentin Dubois

Chrysovalantou Vasiliki Leva

Fabio De Ferrari

Saumey Jain

Xinxin Liu

Hari Prasanna Periasamy