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Fabrication of graphene nanopore/nanogap structures with implemented nanofluidic channel

Chemists at Leiden University have developed a new technique for the fabrication of nanogap devices which is considerably faster than conventional methods and requires low level of fabrication accuracy. It is a platform for the realization of biomolecule detection/sequencing and electron tomography.

The translocation of biological molecules have been detected successfully in nanopores, fabricated in two-dimensional (2D) materials. The mono-atomic thickness of 2D materials is comparable with the spacing between bases composing biomolecules, hence such materials can potentially provide enough resolution for single base identification. The fast translocation of biomolecules - which is not traceable monitoring the ionic current through the nanopore - is an important limitation for the development of nanopore systems for sequencing purposes.

Two graphene electrodes positioned very close to each other with a nanoscale gap in between is a model system to achieve biomolecule sequencing. The electrical current tunneling between the electrodes depends on the geometry and chemical composition of the bases traveling through the gap; fast enough for sequencing.

While conventional nanofabrication techniques have failed to realize nanogap devices in two-dimensional materials so far, the simplicity of our new fabrication technique promises fast development of the devices. High resolution and strong signal to noise ratios are predicted detecting biomolecule bases in nanogap schemes.


Key benefits

  • A high accuracy fabrication process allows precise aligned of a nanofluidic channel in between two pairs of monoatomically thin graphene electrodes
  • The setup can be used both for nanopores and nano gap experiments
  • The size of the fluidic channel can be customized in a wide range (<1nm up to several micrometers)


  • Biomolecule detection/sequencing
  • Electron tomography

Development stage

  • Fabrication process (partly) optimized
  • First samples have been measured

Luris reference number


Patent status

A prior art scan has been performed

Data available on request

Non-confidential and confidential presentations

Further information

Ellen Willemse Knowledge Broker (LU) +31-71-527 2533 +31-6-1422 8005