Monolayer WS2 Nanopores for DNA Translocation with Light-Adjustable Sizes

Gopinath Danda, Paul Masih Das, Yung Chien Chou, Jerome T. Mlack, William M. Parkin, Carl H. Naylor, Kazunori Fujisawa, Tianyi Zhang, Laura Beth Fulton, Mauricio Terrones, Alan T.Charlie Johnson, Marija Drndić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Two-dimensional materials are promising for a range of applications, as well as testbeds for probing the physics of low-dimensional systems. Tungsten disulfide (WS2) monolayers exhibit a direct band gap and strong photoluminescence (PL) in the visible range, opening possibilities for advanced optoelectronic applications. Here, we report the realization of two-dimensional nanometer-size pores in suspended monolayer WS2 membranes, allowing for electrical and optical response in ionic current measurements. A focused electron beam was used to fabricate nanopores in WS2 membranes suspended on silicon-based chips and characterized using PL spectroscopy and aberration-corrected high-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy. It was observed that the PL intensity of suspended WS2 monolayers is ∼10-15 times stronger when compared to that of substrate-supported monolayers, and low-dose scanning transmission electron microscope viewing and drilling preserves the PL signal of WS2 around the pore. We establish that such nanopores allow ionic conductance and DNA translocations. We also demonstrate that under low-power laser illumination in solution, WS2 nanopores grow slowly in size at an effective rate of ∼0.2-0.4 nm/s, thus allowing for atomically controlled nanopore size using short light pulses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1937-1945
Number of pages9
JournalACS nano
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 28 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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