(Marija Drndić)

Nature Reviews Physics : https://doi.org/10.1038/s42254-021-00363-w


Nanopores are small holes in structures that can be used to electrically probe matter at nanometre scales and for single-particle analysis. Organic nanopores exist in nature, but it was not clear how to create similar pores on robust solid-state platforms. Twenty years ago, a single solid-state nanopore was realized and used to detect individual DNA molecules. Facilitated by advancements from decades of semiconductor technologies, this work symbolically unlocked a Pandora’s box of fundamental single-molecule experiments. Today, solid-state nanopores are being explored for readout of data stored in molecules, for energy harvesting and power generation, for DNA and protein sequencing, and for liquid and gas filtration and purification, and there are even plans to send them to space.