PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago
Pushing the limits of control of ion transport in liquids at the nanoscale
As genome analysis is quickly revolutionizing the medical world, researchers are turning to the next step in the large scale analysis of biological systems. Imec believes that an important innovation lies in large-scale integration of nanoscale transistors with solid-state nanopore devices for chemical and biological sensing and nanofiltration. Leveraging imec’s existing expertise with FET devices with cutting edge concepts from nanofluidics opens up opportunities to enhance the fundamental sensing principle of nanopores. One of the major issues for applications of solid-state nanopores in sequencing or proteomics lies in the lack of control of the translocation of analytes. The aim of this project is to better understand and control the flow of analytes and fluids through a hybrid nanopore FET device.
Combining effects of electrical gating of ion transport using solid state FET devices embedded within a nanopore allows direct electrical control and sensing within a region tens of nanometers in size. The interplay of the nanopore sensor and the FET device allows us to control the surface properties of the nanopore (e.g. through reactive surface groups), and to use the interior as a nanoreactor or a nanosensor through FET surface gating. Controlling the flow of solution and analytes through the nanopore would enhance the use of the FET devices as specific biosensors. The FET device would also allow fast control over analyte translocations through the device, for example, by modulating the local viscosity through Joule heating or by promoting structural surface ordering of complex salt molecules.
The candidate will work on characterizing imec fabricated devices as a platform for exploring nanopore physics, and developing new nanofluidic sensing principles by using electrical, chemical and pressure probes of the nanopore FET system.
The ideal candidate should have:
a background in physics, chemistry or nanotechnology
a good understanding of numerical methods and programming
experience with electrical measurements with electrolytes
Required background: Physics, Electrical Engineering, Nanotechnology
Type of work: 50% experimental, 30% modeling/simulation, 10% literature
Supervisor: Pol Van Dorpe
Daily advisor: Sanjin Marion
The reference code for this position is 2022-121. Mention this reference code on your application form.