Here, we describe a simple and low-cost lithographic technique to fabricate size-controllable nanopillar arrays inside the microfluidic channels for the studies of single DNA molecules. In this approach, nanosphere lithography has been employed to grow a single layer of well-ordered close-packed colloidal crystals inside the microfluidic channels. The size of the polymeric colloidal nanoparticles could be trimmed by oxygen plasma treatment. These size-trimmed colloidal nanoparticles were then used as the etching mask in a deep etching process. As a result, well-ordered size-controllable nanopillar arrays could be fabricated inside the microfluidic channels. The gap distance between the nanopillars could be tuned between 20 and 80 nm allowing the formation of nanofluidic system where the behavior of a single λ-phage DNA molecule has been investigated. It was found that the λ-phage DNA molecule could be fully stretched in the nanofluidic system formed by nanopillars with 50 nm gap distance at a field of 50 V/cm.
- Nanofluidic system
- Single molecule