Ionic current modulation from DNA translocation through nanopores under high ionic strength and concentration gradients†
Ion transport through nanopores is an important process in nature and has important engineering applications. To date, most studies of nanopore ion transport have been carried out with electrolytes of relatively low concentrations. In this paper, we report on ionic current modulation from the translocation of dsDNA through a nanopore under high ionic strength and with an electrolyte concentration gradient across the nanopore. Results show that in this case, DNA translocation can induce either negative or positive ionic current modulation, even though usually only downward peaks are expected under this high ion concentration. Through a series of experiments and numerical simulations with nanopores of different diameters and concentration gradients, it is found that the positive pulse is due to extra ions outside the electric double layer of the DNA that are brought into the nanopore by the enhanced electroosmotic flow (EOF) with the negatively charged DNA inside the nanopore.