Date of Graduation

8-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physics (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Physics

Advisor

Jiali Li

Committee Member

Surenda Singh

Second Committee Member

Hamed Naseem

Third Committee Member

Gea Banacloche

Keywords

Pure sciences; Applied sciences; Solid state

Abstract

Solid State nanopores that are fabricated by the ion beam sculpting process and electron beam drilling have shown great promise as a sensing device for DNA and protein molecules. Even though biological pores such as the alpha-Haemolysin have been in use for quite some time, the use of solid state Nanopores in single biomolecule detection has been on the rise since the mid 1990s. Solid State nanopores have an advantage over biological pores in that they are more robust, stable, and can be sculpted to any desired size for use in translocation experiments. One of the major challenges in Nanopore fabrication by ion beam sculpting has been limited by the user's ability to control the closure rate of pores in the fabrication process. Another challenge in

nanopore sensing is the resolution limitation due to the thickness of the pore. This is because most of the nanopores fabricated by the ion beam sculpting method are often thicker than they should. This thesis will focus on the modification of nanopore fabrication using the ion beam

sculpting system at the University of Arkansas by first baking the samples in vacuum under specified temperature conditions. Baking the samples will give the user better control over pore closure. This Thesis will also focus on thinning the sculpted pores by Reactive Ion Etching in an attempt to increase its resolution for single biomecule translocation experiments.

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