One of the key journals in analytical chemistry Analytical Chemistry have featured latest development and future of nanofluidics in lab on a chip device on September 1st, 2009 issue. The article specifically highlights progress in integrated micro- and nanofluidic devices and demonstrates how nanofluidic components may benefit sample preparation, fluid handling and injection, separation, and detection.
This article focuses on devices containing one or more nanochannels or nanoporess fluidic features with at least one dimension typically e100 nm. We will discuss discrete features e0.5 μm, as opposed to nanoporous monoliths4 or membranes with tortuous paths,5 which are reviewed elsewhere.
Nano-channels in fluidic devices have forces and phenomena which are absent or negligible in micro-channels. This brings great promise for new analytical applications. Generally nano-channels are in the dimensions of Electrical Double Layer (EDL). Overlap of nano-channels with EDL results ion permselectivity; localized enhancement of electric fields; and the increased influence of diffusion, surface-to-volume ratio, surface charge, and entropy. Through these effects, nanoscale components can improve routine processing and add new functionality to microfluidic devices.
Video below is a podcast prepared for Anal Chem Jeniffer, managing editor of Analytical Chemistry talks with Joanathan, associate editor of Anal Chem about this paper and nanofluidic devices-challenges for fabrication and applications.