Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

Document Type



This study concerns development of a technology of utilizing metallic nanowires for a sensing element in nanofluidic single molecular (nanoparticle) sensors formed in plastic substrates to detect the translocation of single molecules through the nanochannel. We aimed to develop nanofluidic single molecular sensors in plastic substrates due to their scalability towards high through and low cost manufacturing for point-of-care applications. Despite significant research efforts recently on the technologies and applications of nanowires, using individual nanowires as electric sensing element in nanofluidic bioanalytic devices has not been realized yet. This dissertation work tackles several technical challenges involved in this development, which include reduction of nanowire agglomerates in the deposition of individual nanowires on a substrate, large scale alignment/assembly of metallic nanowires, placement of single nanowires on microelectrodes, characterization of electrical conductance of single nanowire, bonding of a cover plate to a substrate with patterned microelectrodes and nanowire electrodes. Overcoming the abovementioned challenges, we finally demonstrated a nanofluidic sensor with an in-plane nanowire electrode in poly(methyl methacrylate) substrates for sensing single biomolecules.

In the first part of this study, we developed the processes for separation and large-scale assembly of individual NiFeCo nanowires grown using an electrodeposition process inside a porous alumina template. A method to fabricate microelectrode patterns on plastic substrates using flexible stencil masks was developed. We studied electrical and magnetic properties of new composite core-shell nanowires by measuring the electrical transport through individual nanowires. The core-shell nanowires were composed of a mechanically stable FeNiCo core and an ultrathin shell of a highly conductive Au gold (FeNiCo-Au nanowires).

In the second part of this study, we simulated the effects of the nanopore geometry on the current drop signal of the translocation through a nanopore via finite element method using COMSOL. Using the above techniques, we developed for the fabrication and alignment of the microelectrodes and nanowires, we studied the optimum conditions to integrate the transverse nanoelectrode with the nanochannel on plastic substrates. The main challenge was to find the conditions to embed the micro-/nanoelectrodes into the nanochannel substrate as well as the nanochannel cover sheet.



Committee Chair

Park, Sunggook

Available for download on Tuesday, April 02, 2019