Nanofluidic species transport and nanostructure based detection on-chip




De Leebeeck, Angela

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Transport in nanostructures and on-chip detection using nanohole arrays are investigated using a combination of analytical, numerical and experimental techniques. The first half of the thesis describes a fundamental theoretical contribution to the study of nanofluidic species transport. The second half of the thesis describes an applied experimental application of nanostructure-based species detection in a microfluidic framework. A continuum based analytical solution and numerical model are developed to quantify ionic dispersion of charged and neutral species in nanochannels and identify fundamental dispersion mechanisms unique to nanoscale flows. Ionic dispersion for circular cross-section nanochannels is quantified as a function of a valance parameter. the relative electrical double layer thickness. and the form of the velocity profile. Two unique mechanisms governing ionic dispersion in both pressure- and electrokinetically driven flows are identified. The results of the analytical solution are supported and extended by the results of the numerical model. Collectively, these results indicate that dispersion of ionic species in nanoscale channels is markedly charge dependent and substantially deviates from that of neutral solutes in the same flow. A microfluidic device with a set of embedded nanohole array surface plasmon resonance sensors is developed and successfully demonstrated experimentally as a chemical/biological sensor. The device takes advantage of the unique optical properties. the surface-based sensitivity, the transmission mode operation. relatively small footprint, and repeatability characteristic of nanohole arrays. Proof-of-concept measurements are performed on-chip to detect changes in liquid refractive index at the array surface. proportional to change in near wall concentration or indicative of a surface binding event. Employing a cross-stream array of nanohole arrays. the device is applied to detect microfluidic concentration gradients as well as to detect surface binding in the assembly process of a cysteamine monolayer-biotin-streptavidin system.



nanostructures, microfluidics