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Solid-State Nanopore Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer

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journal contribution
posted on 23.10.2019 by Makusu Tsutsui, Kazumichi Yokota, Akihide Arima, Yuhui He, Tomoji Kawai
Analysis of field-controlled dynamics of ionized substances in a vacuum enables mass spectroscopy of particles and molecules. Analogously, here we report that nanoscale tracking of electrophoretically driven fast motions of single nanoparticles allows label-free and nondestructive detection of their mass in liquid. We fine-traced the time-dependent positions of space-filtered regular motions of particles passed through a thin solid-state nanopore by dissecting the associated ionic blockade phenomena under a scope of multiphysics simulations. Characterizing the viscous-drag-mediated exponential decay in the electrophoretic speed of particles ejected into an electrolyte solution from the nanochannel, we demonstrated the discrimination of nanoparticles by the femtogram mass difference. The present method is viable for mass measurement of virtually any object that can be put through the sensing zone, the sensor capability of which may find many applications such as pathogen screening and proteomics.