Nanofluidics have recently attracted significant attention with regard to the development of new functionalities and applications, and producing new functional devices utilizing nanofluidics will require the fabrication of nanochannels. Fused silica nanofluidic devices fabricated by top-down methods are a promising approach to realizing this goal. Our group previously demonstrated the analysis of a living single cell using such a device, incorporating nanochannels having different sizes (102-103 nm) and with branched and confluent structures and surface patterning. However, fabrication of geometrically-controlled nanochannels on the 101 nm size scale by top-down methods on a fused silica substrate, and the fabrication of micro-nano interfaces on a single substrate, remain challenging. In the present study, the smallest-ever square nanochannels (with a size of 50 nm) were fabricated on fused silica substrates by optimizing the electron beam exposure time, and the absence of channel breaks was confirmed by streaming current measurements. In addition, micro-nano interfaces between 103 nm nanochannels and 101 μm microchannels were fabricated on a single substrate by controlling the hydrophobicity of the nanochannel surfaces. A micro-nano interface for a single cell analysis device, in which a nanochannel was connected to a 101 μm single cell chamber, was also fabricated. These new fabrication procedures are expected to advance the basic technologies employed in the field of nanofluidics.
- Micro-nano interface
- Streaming current
- Top-down fabrication
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering