ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Samir M Iqbal

Second Advisor

Ali Davoudi


Nanoscale fabrication techniques have led the march towards a new class of biosensors that were not possible to build in the past due to technological limitations. These molecular nanosensors can have biochemical, electromagnetic, acoustic, optical or electrophoretic detection modalities. One of these nanosensors, is solid state nanopores which use resistive pulse sensing in nanometer apertures in thin dielectric membranes. Solid state nanopores have been fabricated using cutting edge fabrication techniques to detect and analyze nanoscale biomolecules such as DNA, proteins, miRNA, viruses etc. These biosensors can be used as electronic sensors for biomarkers of certain diseases such as cancer and can form effective tools for early detection which can eventually save lives. Solid state nanopores have also been used as a novel way for cheap DNA sequencing. In the case for early detection of cancer, molecular biology plays a critical role and solid state nanopores can be used to study that and provide effective ways for the effect. In this dissertation we work on solid state nanopores and try to improve them using the cutting-edge fabrication techniques and optical modalities to make them ultrasensitive biomarker detection and multiplexed sensing biosensors. In the first project, we use solid state nanopores in silicon nitride membranes to detect epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) protein which is overexpressed in many cancers and is a cancer biomarker. We use an RNA Aptamer to selectively bind to the EGFR which increases the selectivity for this cancer biomarker through solid state nanopores. In the second project, we simulate two adjacent nanopores on a single membrane in the quest to find the adjacent nanopore distance for reduced electronic crosstalk. The optical parameters derived from the simulations can be used as a blue print for fabrication of nanopore arrays on single membranes to increase the throughput and self-referencing capability for noise cancellation. The final project reinvents the solid state nanopore with the inclusion of an optical plasmonic trap cavity at the mouth of the nanopore. We are the first ones to report this type of nanopore device. This novel sensor provides dual mode optical and electrical sensing capability. In addition, the localized plasmon field can trap the nanoparticles for up to 7 seconds at the mouth of the nanopore, which was previously not possible due to the electrophoretic translocation. It is shown that nanoparticles oscillate in the trap, which results in high frequency electrical noise that is synchronous to the mass loading of the plasmonic cavity.


Solid-state nanopores, Plasmonics, Dual nanoholes, Biomarkers


Electrical and Computer Engineering | Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington