Silicon substrate effects on ionic current blockade in solid-state nanopores†
We investigated the roles of silicon substrate material compositions in ionic current blockade in solid-state nanopores. When detecting single nanoparticles using an ionic current in a Si3N4 nanopore supported on a doped silicon wafer, resistive pulses were found to be blunted significantly via signal retardation due to predominant contributions of large capacitance at the ultrathin membrane. Unexpectedly, in contrast, changing the substrate material to non-doped silicon led to the sharpening of the spike-like signal feature, suggesting a better temporal resolution of the cross-channel ionic current measurements by virtue of the thick intrinsic semiconductor layer that served to diminish the net chip capacitance. The present results suggest the importance of the choice of Si compositions regarding the capacitance effects to attain better spatiotemporal resolution in solid-state nanopore sensors.
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