This work presents membrane development applicable in nanofluidic devices. These membranes can also be termed suspended thin films, supported on two or more edges. I first discuss motivation and background for developing these structures. Then I derive the formative principles for nanofluidic systems. Following the derivation of the Navier-Stokes and Washburn equations, I discuss applying these theories to planar nanofluidic capillaries and finish the derivation by discussing the forces that drive liquid flow in nanochannels. I next discuss the membrane development process, starting with my work in static height traps, and develop the concept of analyzing nanoparticles using suspended membranes. After reviewing the lessons learned from the double-nanopore project I discuss developing an oxide layer tuned to the needs of a membrane and present the design of an adjustable membrane structure. Afterward, I discuss modeling and simulating the structure, and present a procedure for fabricating robust membranes. I then explain applying the membrane structure to form a nanofluidic pump and document the process for recording and analyzing the pumping characteristics for nanodevices. As part of the pump section I propose a theory and model for predicting the behavior of the pumps. I next present applying active membranes as nanoparticle traps. I document a quick-turn optical profilometry method for charicterizing the devices, then present experimental data involving trapping. Early results show that the device functions as a nanoparticle concentrator and may work well as a size-based trap for nanoparticles. I conclude by summarizing the main contributions made during my course of study and by providing supplemental material to guide future research.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





fluidics, microfabrication, nanotechnology, pumps, silicon dioxide, nanopore, nanoparticle, fractionation, NEMS