Nanopores are increasingly utilized as tools for single molecule detection in biotechnology. Here, we report an improved fabrication process to make solid-state nanopores from glass tubes with the help of paraffin. Based on the physical footprint of the phase change of the paraffin, nanocavity is formed in the broken terminal after thermally compressing and pulling the glass capillary. Nanopores with the minimum diameter of 20 nm are fabricated. The key step is to control the thickness of paraffin layer attached in the inner wall, which could affect the diameter of the nanopore.
We investigate 48Kb λ-DNA molecules translocate through the fabricated glass nanopore. Because DNA molecules with the negative charges could be driven by the electrical force to pass through the nanopore and could physically block the pore to produce measurable changes in ionic currents. A transient electrical current changing is used to detect the DNA molecules in the solution. In the experiments, many events of DNA translocation were observed under the positive potential. We demonstrate that DNA molecules could be detected by the nanopore fabricated from glass tube.
However, we also find the events of DNA translocation under the negative potential, which is because of the electro-osmotic flow (EOF) effects. It is found that the electro-osmotic flow inside the nanopore plays an important role in the DNA translocation process, and thus depends on the size of the pore. We shows that the effective driving force on DNA in a nanopore is the co-effects of the force of the electric field and the drag force of the electro-osmotic flow.