A method termed 'nanoglassblowing' is presented for fabricating integrated microfluidic and nanofluidic devices with gradual depth changes and wide, shallow nanochannels. This method was used to construct fused silica channels with out-of-plane curvature of channel covers from over ten micrometers to a few nanometers, nanochannel aspect ratios smaller than 2 × 10-5:1 (depth:width), and nanochannel depths as shallow as 7 nm. These low aspect ratios and shallow channel depths would be difficult to form otherwise without collapse of the channel cover, and the gradual changes in channel depth eliminate abrupt free energy barriers at the transition from microfluidic to nanofluidic regions. Devices were characterized with atomic force microscopy (AFM), white light interferometry, scanned height measurements, fluorescence intensity traces, and single molecule analysis of double-stranded deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) velocity and conformation. Nanochannel depths and aspect ratios formed by nanoglassblowing allowed measurements of the radius of gyration, Rg, of single λ DNA molecules confined to slit-like nanochannels with depths, d, ranging from 11 nm to 507 nm. Measurements of Rg as a function of d agreed qualitatively with the scaling law predicted by Brochard for nanochannel depths from 36 nm to 156 nm, while measurements of Rg in 11 nm and 507 nm deep nanochannels deviated from this prediction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering