Scalable fabrication of nanopores in membranes: Via thermal annealing of Au nanoparticles

Taeyoung Park, Sang Jun Lee, Jong Hwan Cha, Wonjoon Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Nanopores are promising candidates for versatile sensing of micro- and nanomaterials. However, the fabrication of isolated nanopores with optimal dimensions and distributions requires complex processes that involve the use of high-cost equipment. Herein, we report a scalable fabrication of isolated conical nanopores with adjustable dimensions and distribution densities on a Si3N4 membrane via thermal annealing of Au nanoparticles (AuNPs). The AuNP-dispersed solution was dropped and evaporated on the membrane, while the pH value and concentration of AuNPs controlled the zeta potential difference and the distribution density of the attached AuNPs. The optimized thermal annealing directly fabricated conical nanopores at the positions of the AuNPs because of the quasi-liquid state of the AuNPs and their interaction with the Si3N4 lattices. The 50, 100, and 200 nm AuNPs enabled one-step fabrication of 8-, 26-, and 63 nm nanopores, while the inter-distances and distribution densities were controllable over the membrane. The physicochemical analyses elucidated the underlying mechanisms of direct nanopore formation, and the precise adjustment of thermal annealing developed three unique nanopores that differently interacted with the AuNPs: (1) Au-residue-embedded nanopores, (2) isolated nanopores, and (3) nanopores with the remaining Au droplet. The AuNPs-driven fabrication of versatile nanopore membranes enables new applications for sensing and transporting small-scale materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22623-22634
Number of pages12
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 21

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) and the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) of the Republic of Korea (grant no. 20173010032170), and the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Changes of the National Research Foundation (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (Ministry of Science and ICT) (Grant No. NRF-2017M1A2A2044986).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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