A nanosized laser beam for fabrication of nanopores for DNA sequencing

Y. Wang
Yancheng Teachers University,

Keywords: multilayer planar films, laser beam without diffraction spreading, femtosecond nano-machining


Routine prescription of precision medicine for early-stage cancer detection relies on cheap, rapid, and accurate detection of single bio-molecules / biomarkers. Nano-sized femtosecond laser nano-machining of solid-state nanopores for DNA-sequencing can serve this objective. We are going to make such a nano-sized laser beam out of planar metal-dielectric films. We use two different materials before the output window of a laser: one is a “dark” planar metal-dielectric film that absorbs light thoroughly into surface Plasmon polaritons (SPPs), and another is a “transparent” dielectric material that reduces SPPs to free space optical waves. Therefore this technology builds a laser beam without diffraction spreading, and it is transformational to generate a bright beam spot of a few nanometers. Current the most promising DNA sequencing device, the solid-state nanopores with nano-meter-thin constrictions, is produced by an energy-dissipative “cold ion beam sculpting” procedure. It is ideal for fabricating such nanopores with a femtosecond laser directly. However, existing ultrafast laser micromachining is based on the extraordinary peak power of a tightly focused pulsed laser, whose size is fundamentally limited by optical diffraction, to induce desired patterns. Therefore existing laser technology cannot reach a bright beam spot of a few nanometers. Our nano-pore DNA sequencing device will offer a fast and cost-effective solution for DNA sequencing and will make routinely prescription of DNA sequencing possible for the detection of early-stage cancer. Our novel technology will also generate a variety of photonic devices and other medical applications from eye surgery to dentistry.