APPLIED PHYSICS: Channels Writ Small

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Science  16 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5622, pp. 1055a
DOI: 10.1126/science.300.5622.1055a

With the goal of looking at molecules that bind at specific sites on a strand of DNA, Li et al. have begun to fabricate chips that orient single DNA molecules within nanofluidic channels and allow for near-field optical analysis. Self-sealing channels were made by patterning (via photolithography) sacrificial materials, which are then stripped away after a capping layer has been deposited. Polynorbornene (PNB) was used because it can be tailored to decompose over a wide range of temperature. For very small channels, the authors used nanoimprint lithography because the imprint master could be used rapidly and efficiently over many square centimeters. Channels with 20- to 100-nm cross sections were readily obtained, and refining the reactive ion-etching step of the process yielded tapered channels that connected submicrometer channels with those of much larger size.—MSL

Nanotechnology 14, 578 (2003).

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