2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

Manufacturable nanoscale membranes – material development and biological separations

T.R. Gaborski, C.C. Striemer, J.L. Snyder, D.Z. Fang, P.M. Fauchet and J.L. McGrath
University of Rochester, US

ultrathin, membrane, filtration, porous, protein, separation

We have developed a new class of ultrathin porous nanocrystalline silicon (pnc-Si) membranes using inexpensive and scalable silicon fabrication techniques. Pnc-Si is formed from a deposited amorphous silicon thin film, where nanoscale pores are introduced through a thermodynamically-driven crystallization process developed by our group. Our robust 15nm thick membranes are free standing over hundreds of microns and can support >1 atm of differential pressure using only the surrounding silicon wafer framework as external support. The pore size and porosity are tunable and ideal for biomolecule separations. We demonstrate that pnc-Si membranes can retain proteins while permitting the transport of small molecules at rates an order of magnitude faster than existing materials (156 nmol/cm2-hr). Furthermore, we demonstrate that our membrane can effectively separate differently sized proteins. We have also shown fractionation of protein extract containing dozens of differently sized proteins at concentrations as high as 9mg/mL. Future integration of our novel nanomaterial into microfluidic systems will enable the development of rapid and high-efficiency blood analyzers and hemodialysis devices.

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Nanotech 2007 Conference Program Abstract


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