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Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability

Department of Physics

Project “Single Molecule Detection Though Atomically Thin Nanopores”
Keyser Group, University of Cambridge and Zettl Group, Kavli ENSI

Two dimensional materials have garnered an incredible amount of interest since the isolation of graphene in 2004. Methods of using these materials as membranes is a very populated research area with attention focused toward filtration/separation barriers and nanopore sensing. Controlling the membrane selectivity and, related, creation of controlled pores are some of the key barriers to overcome for graphene.

My efforts have been toward demonstrating controlled ionic selectivity and, increasingly, controlling nanopore creation across graphene. However, characterisation of these pores and controlling the pore termination is difficult in our setup in Cambridge. The Zettl group in Berkeley have a similar interest and have shown controlled pore termination in membranes. Using their expertise in material preparation and TEM imaging we are working towards imaging and manipulating the intrinsic graphene surface whilst also introducing pores into the membrane.

Following my visit to Berkeley, we have setup a collaboration which is mutually beneficial and maximises each group’s expertise. We hope to create pores in our graphene and send to Berkeley for imaging and receive samples with controlled pore termination for us to attempt nanopore sensing. 

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