Photoswitchable Binary Nanopore Conductance and Selective Electronic Detection of Single Biomolecules under Wavelength and Voltage Polarity Control

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We fabricated photoregulated thin-film nanopores by covalently linking azobenzene photoswitches to silicon nitride pores with ∼10 nm diameters. The photoresponsive coatings could be repeatedly optically switched with deterministic ∼6 nm changes to the effective nanopore diameter and of ∼3× to the nanopore ionic conductance. The sensitivity to anionic DNA and a neutral complex carbohydrate biopolymer (maltodextrin) could be photoswitched "on"and "off"with an analyte selectivity set by applied voltage polarity. Photocontrol of nanopore state and mass transport characteristics is important for their use as ionic circuit elements (e.g., resistors and binary bits) and as chemically tuned filters. It expands single-molecule sensing capabilities in personalized medicine, genomics, glycomics, and, augmented by voltage polarity selectivity, especially in multiplexed biopolymer information storage schemes. We demonstrate repeatedly photocontrolled stable nanopore size, polarity, conductance, and sensing selectivity, by illumination wavelength and voltage polarity, with broad utility including single-molecule sensing of biologically and technologically important polymers.

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ACS Nano