Highly reliable and low-noise solid-state nanopores with an atomic layer deposited ZnO membrane on a quartz substrate
We present a fabrication scheme for a solid-state ZnO nanopore membrane directly deposited on top of a quartz substrate by atomic layer deposition (ALD) and investigate the characteristics of DNA translocation through the nanopores. We chose a ZnO membrane owing to its high isoelectric point (∼9.5) as well as its chemical and mechanical stability. Aside from the extremely low noise level exhibited by this device on a highly insulating and low dielectric quartz substrate, it also slows down the translocation speed of DNA by more than one order of magnitude as compared to that of a SiNx nanopore device. We propose that the electrostatic interaction between the positively charged ZnO nanopore wall, resulting from the high isoelectric point of ZnO, and the negatively charged phosphate backbone of DNA provides an additional frictional force that slows down the DNA translocation.