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Single Atom Graphene Nanogap

Technology Overview

Chemists at Leiden University have developed a method yielding a device separating two single carbon atoms from two individual conducting graphene layers.

The invention allows the fabrication of a graphene nanogap using a simple methodology. It has been impossible until now to manufacture a graphene nanogap.

The next stage of improvement includes (i) to define the (bio) chemical sensitivity of the device, (ii) chemical edge passivation and determination of the utility of the device as a spectroscope for graphene (and other 2D crystal edge characterization), ( iii) attempting the translocation and detection of individual (bio) (macro) molecules, and (iv) designing the micro / nanofluidic platform (for 'controllably' delivery of a single biomolecule to the point contact; for sequencing or characterization of molecules ).

Details and State of Development:

- 3D Proof of concept (prototype)
- Fabrication process of the gap is validated


1. New tunneling spectroscopes to characterize atomic contacts between two carbon atoms
2. Study nanoconfined media such as gas, liquids, solid
3. Detection of molecules in motion
4. Sequencing molecules
5. Characterization of polymers
6. Study electrical transport through single (organic , bio-organic) molecules

Keywords: biomolecule detection, sequencing, spectroscopy

Key benefits

  • Single atomic contact
  • Basal plane protected (no need for extra sandwich insulating layers and hence no parasitic tunneling signal)  
  • No need for electron microscopy or lithographic equipment
  • Mechanically robust, scalable formation

Luris reference number


Patent status

A prior art scan has been performed.

Data available on request

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