Observing single nanoparticle events at the orifice of a nanopipet†
Single nanoparticle (NP) events are successfully observed at the orifice of a nanopipet by blocking the ionic current with a single NP. In addition to the traditional translocation events, we observe both staircase and blip current transients by controlling the radius ratio of NPs to nanopipet or bias potential. Confocal fluorescence microscopy and finite element simulation are used to simultaneously monitor and quantitatively understand these events, respectively. The frequency of the staircase and blip events is proportional to the NP concentration, and could be used for the quantification of NPs. This study offers a new method for NP determination and single NP behavior study.