Flow of fluorescein molecules through an array of five tunable elastomeric nanochannels and their accumulation at an air-filled microscale compartment. Running horizontally at the top is an air-filled microchannel. The nanochannels are triangular and are 80 nanometers high from base to top corner and 600 nm wide at the base (Image: Dr. Takayama)
"Our method of fabricating nanochannels is very simple" Dr. Shuichi Takayama explains to Nanowerk. "We do it by stretching a piece of surface treated rubber. People may have similar experiences where they have stretched an old rubber band and seen cracks form. We just do this in a finer, more controlled manner to make nanochannels. It does not require any of the typical expensive equipment needed to create nanostructures, such as e-beams or cleanrooms. Our tuneable nanochannels are unique in being able to adjust its cross-sectional size."
"We believe that our approach can be extended to higher levels of functionality through the integration of parallel and serial operations, sophisticated optics and a wealth of polymer chemistry" Takayama concludes.