Nanofluidics for Lab on a Chip applications
Nanofluidics is a relatively new field with still much to explore. Our research therefore has both a fundamental part where we explore new phenomena and an applied part. At the fundamental level we try to understand the flow of water, ions and biomolecules such as DNA through nanometer-size channels and structures. Especially the fact that many surfaces become charged when you put them in solution thereby plays a crucial role, and we try to modify and actively control this charge chemically or electrically. Running projects on fundamental aspects concern the application of graphene in nanofluidic devices and the investigation of catalysis on metal nanoparticles in nanopores.
The knowledge we gain during our explorations is applied in a number of areas. One important area is the generation of green energy from streaming water. Electrical energy can be generated by pushing water through membranes with nanometer-sized channels, and we try to get maximal efficiency and energy density from this process. Here a conversion efficiency of 50% has already been obtained! Another important area is that of molecular separation. In the MESA+ cleanroom we can make smart nanostructured designs that open up new ways to separate molecules such as DNA, or refine existing chips for ion separation by electrophoresis. Finally we work on the development of ultrasensitive biomolecule sensors, where we develop large arrays of gold nanodots.
- Catalysis on metal nanoparticles in nanopores
- Energy from streaming potential
- Graphene-based nanofluidic devices
- Continuous flow separation of DNA
- Integrating an internal standard in a capillary electrophoresis based Lab on a Chip
- Sensing with colors: development of a gold nanodot array device for tuberculosis diagnostics
Energy from the streaming potential using a droplet generator. An efficiency of 15% has been reached and voltages up to 10 kV.
Anisotropic nanofluidic structure for continuous flow electrokinetic DNA separation
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