Directed transport by surface chemical potential gradients for enhancing analyte collection in nanoscale sensors

Amit Sitt, Henry Hess*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Nanoscale detectors hold great promise for single molecule detection and the analysis of small volumes of dilute samples. However, the probability of an analyte reaching the nanosensor in a dilute solution is extremely low due to the sensor's small size. Here, we examine the use of a chemical potential gradient along a surface to accelerate analyte capture by nanoscale sensors. Utilizing a simple model for transport induced by surface binding energy gradients, we study the effect of the gradient on the efficiency of collecting nanoparticles and single and double stranded DNA. The results indicate that chemical potential gradients along a surface can lead to an acceleration of analyte capture by several orders of magnitude compared to direct collection from the solution. The improvement in collection is limited to a relatively narrow window of gradient slopes, and its extent strongly depends on the size of the gradient patch. Our model allows the optimization of gradient layouts and sheds light on the fundamental characteristics of chemical potential gradient induced transport.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3341-3350
Number of pages10
JournalNano Letters
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 May 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • active transport
  • chemical potential gradient
  • diffusion
  • sensor
  • surface energy gradient

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Directed transport by surface chemical potential gradients for enhancing analyte collection in nanoscale sensors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this