Micro- and nanofabrication technology enables the application of electrokinetics as a method of performing chemical analyses and achieving liquid pumping in electronically-controlled microchip systems with no moving parts. We are studying and leveraging the unique separation modalities offered by nanoscale electrokinetic channels. We report analytical, numerical, and experimental investigations of nanochannel electrophoretic transport and separation dynamics of neutral and charged analytes. Our study includes continuum-theory-based analytical and numerical studies of nanofluidic electrophoretic separation dynamics, as well as experimental validation of these models. We have used 40, 100, and 1,560 nm deep channels etched in fused silica to independently measure mobility and valence of small ions. We also use these devices to separate 10 to 100 base pair DNA in the absence of a gel separation matrix. The effective free-solution mobilities of the ds-DNA oligonucleotides measured in 1560 nm deep channel are consistent with reported literature values, while smaller values of the mobility were measured for 4o nm deep channels for the same charge-species. The goal of our work is to explore and exploit electrokinetic flow regimes with extreme scales of length and charge density.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.