Nature Communications

Wafer-scale integration of sacrificial nanofluidic chips for detecting and manipulating single DNA molecules

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Wafer-scale fabrication of complex nanofluidic systems with integrated electronics is essential to realizing ubiquitous, compact, reliable, high-sensitivity and low-cost biomolecular sensors. Here we report a scalable fabrication strategy capable of producing nanofluidic chips with complex designs and down to single-digit nanometre dimensions over 200 mm wafer scale. Compatible with semiconductor industry standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor logic circuit fabrication processes, this strategy extracts a patterned sacrificial silicon layer through hundreds of millions of nanoscale vent holes on each chip by gas-phase Xenon difluoride etching. Using single-molecule fluorescence imaging, we demonstrate these sacrificial nanofluidic chips can function to controllably and completely stretch lambda DNA in a two-dimensional nanofluidic network comprising channels and pillars. The flexible nanofluidic structure design, wafer-scale fabrication, single-digit nanometre channels, reliable fluidic sealing and low thermal budget make our strategy a potentially universal approach to integrating functional planar nanofluidic systems with logic circuits for lab-on-a-chip applications.