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Toward Nanomechanical Mass Spectrometry
Toward Nanomechanical Mass Spectrometry

Date: Monday, May 2, 2011
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: 125 Steele, Caltech
Speaker: Mehmet Selim Hanay

Caltech’s Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) and JPL's Microdevices Lab (MDL)

Abstract: We will describe our recent efforts to identify single biomolecules by measuring their masses with Nanoelectromechanical Systems. Techniques used to identify biomolecules through mass measurements –Mass Spectrometry- play an indispensable role as an analytical tool for proteomics research. Nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) begin to offer unprecedented sensitivities for different measurement types including mechanical mass sensing. Thus, we aim to create a novel nanoscale tool for biological research by performing mass spectrometry with NEMS. We will describe our experiments to weight single proteins and gold nanoparticles as they are created by electrospray ionization and transported to NEMS by hexapolar ion guides. We will present the theory behind the single-mode and multi-mode mechanical measurements. We will mention recent progress to multiplex a small array of resonators and the use of laser desorption ionization to create ions near NEMS chip.

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