Graphene nanopores and single-molecule sensors

17/12/2012 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Asia/Singapore Timezone
S13-M01-11 (Physics Conference Room)

Speaker: Slaven Garaj
Affiliation: NUS Department of Physics and Bioengineering and GRC
Abstract Details: Nanopores are versatile platform for studying structure and behavior of individual biomolecules, such as DNA, RNA and proteins. Here we present a new class of nanopores – graphene nanopores – which show unique molecular sensing properties. Graphene nanopore sensor, fabricated in freestanding atomically thin graphene membrane, is used to deduce the nano-fludic properties of graphene, and to detected conformation of many individual DNA molecules. We show that graphene nanopores have extremely high sensitivity (0.5nA/Angstrom) to small changes in the DNA diameter, when the diameter of the graphene nanopore closely matches that of a DNA molecule. Experimental results and theoretical modeling indicate that the graphene nanopores have potential to resolve features along the length of a DNA molecule whose separation is comparable to the distance between nucleobases. Those results underscore graphene nanopore platform as an important research route towards the development of physical (electrical) DNA sequencing techniques. At the end, I will give a broad overview of nanopore physics, and discuss the other applications of nanopores in understanding nano-fluidic flows and local surface-liquid interaction, all crucial for energy science and technology.

About the Speaker: Slaven Garaj received PhD from Swiss Federal institute of Technology Lausanne (Switzerland) in the field of solid-state physics. He continued his research career at Harvard University, working at the intersection of nano-electronics and biophysics, particularly by developing novel methods for electrical (4th generation) DNA sequencing based on nanopores. Throughout his career, his different research projects attracted general public attention and were featured in international media and professional magazines (such as BBC News, New Scientist, Technology Review, MRS Bulletin, etc). Dr. Garaj is currently a NRF Fellow, affiliated with Department of Physics and Department of Bioengineering of the National University of Singapore.