(233a) Control and Separation of Proteins In a Nanofluidic Fet Device, Using pH Gradient and Valence Charge

Authors: 
Oh, Y., University of New Mexico
Bottenus, D., Washington State University
Han, S. M., University of New Mexico


We have fabricated Si multiple internal reflection infrared waveguides embedded with a parallel array of nanofluidic channels (100 nm W ×500 nm D) and studied field-effect-transistor (FET) flow control and separation of proteins, using scanning laser confocal fluorescence microscopy (SL-CFM) and multiple internal reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (MIR-FTIRS). For fluidic FET, a DC potential is applied to a highly doped gate area in the mid-section of nanochannels, in addition to a longitudinal electric field along the nanochannels. The gate potential controls the surface charge on SiO2 channel walls and therefore their ζ-potential. Depending on the polarity and magnitude, the gate potential can accelerate, decelerate, or reverse the flow of proteins. In addition, our MIR-FTIR analysis demonstrates that fluorescein dye molecules, used here as a pH indicator, are hydrogenated and dehydrogenated in response to the gate bias and subsequent pH shift. Using fluorescein, we have thus measured a pH shift caused by the surface charge modulation and longitudinal electrical field. We observe that this pH shift is further influenced by water electrolysis occurring at the electrodes that drive the electroosmotic flow as well as at the gate where a leakage current unavoidably flows through a thermal SiO2 layer. Using this pH manipulation and generating a pH gradient along the nanochannels, we have conducted isoelectric focusing and separation of proteins with different isoelectric points (Ip). In this presentation, we will further discuss protein separations, using transverse electromigration based on their different valence charges in relation to the surface charge on channel walls.