Synchronized optical and electronic detection of biomolecules using a low noise nanopore platform

W.H. Pitchford, H.-J. Kim, A.P. Ivanov, H.-M. Kim, Jae-Seok Yu, R.J. Leatherbarrow, T. Albrecht, K.-B. Kim, J.B. Edel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


In the past two decades there has been a tremendous amount of research into the use of nanopores as single molecule sensors, which has been inspired by the Coulter counter and molecular transport across biological pores. Recently, the desire to increase structural resolution and analytical throughput has led to the integration of additional detection methods such as fluorescence spectroscopy. For structural information to be probed electronically high bandwidth measurements are crucial due to the high translocation velocity of molecules. The most commonly used solid-state nanopore sensors consist of a silicon nitride membrane and bulk silicon substrate. Unfortunately, the photoinduced noise associated with illumination of these platforms limits their applicability to high-bandwidth, high-laser-power synchronized optical and electronic measurements. Here we present a unique low-noise nanopore platform, composed of a predominately Pyrex substrate and silicon nitride membrane, for synchronized optical and electronic detection of biomolecules. Proof of principle experiments are conducted showing that the Pyrex substrates have substantially lowers ionic current noise arising from both laser illumination and platform capacitance. Furthermore, using confocal microscopy and a partially metallic pore we demonstrate high signal-to-noise synchronized optical and electronic detection of dsDNA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1740–1748
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number2
Early online date30 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2015


  • nanopore
  • single-molecule
  • fluorescence
  • noise
  • zero-mode waveguide


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