Bernice Fabrication of polymer-coated solid-state ‘hairy’ nanopores as models for controlled macromolecular transport

Physically interesting behaviour arises when soft matter is confined to nano-scale dimensions. Inspired by computational simulations our focus is to manufacture well-defined polymer-coated nanopores where collective phase transitions of the polymers can yield discrete changes in nanopore permeability. Such a gating mechanism may be exploited to increase the sensitivity of nanopore devices mimicking the biologically vital nuclear pore complex.

Visualization of polymer configurations inside the nanopore as a function of experimental conditions and nanopore dimensions will enhance our understanding of transport through these pores. Such research is of technological interest on account of potential applications such as single- molecule biosensing, molecular filtration, water purification/ desalination, and nanofluidic devices.

Mini Bio:

  • PhD, Chemistry Department, Imperial College London, (since October 2015); Supervisors: Dr Joshua Edel and Dr Bart Hoogenboom
  • MChem, Chemistry Department, University of Sheffield, (2011-2015) Masters Project: “Determining the effective density and stabilizer layer thickness of sterically-stabilized diblock copolymer nanoparticles”; Supervisor: Professor Steven Armes