SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURED NANO-STRUCTURES FOR MICROBE OR VIRUS TRAPPING OR DESTRUCTION
1. A method for damaging or destroying a microbe or a virion, comprising:
- forming an array of semiconductor protrusions extending from a surface of a semiconductor substrate, the semiconductor protrusions comprising nanospikes, the array of semiconductor protrusions having nanoscale dimensions, the array of semiconductor protrusions comprising a fractal pattern of spike sizes; and
disposing the microbe or the virion on the array of protrusions.
A device for isolating a microbe or a virion includes a semiconductor substrate; and a trench formed in the semiconductor substrate and extending from a surface of the semiconductor substrate to a region within the semiconductor substrate; wherein the trench has dimensions such that the microbe or the virion is trapped within the trench.
- 1. A method for damaging or destroying a microbe or a virion, comprising:
forming an array of semiconductor protrusions extending from a surface of a semiconductor substrate, the semiconductor protrusions comprising nanospikes, the array of semiconductor protrusions having nanoscale dimensions, the array of semiconductor protrusions comprising a fractal pattern of spike sizes; and disposing the microbe or the virion on the array of protrusions.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
This application is a continuation of and claims priority to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/142,188, filed on Apr. 29, 2016, entitled “SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURED NANO-STRUCTURES FOR MICROBE OR VIRUS TRAPPING OR DESTRUCTION”, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/988,887, filed on Jan. 6, 2016, entitled “SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURED NANO-STRUCTURES FOR MICROBE OR VIRUS TRAPPING OR DESTRUCTION”, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
The present invention relates to semiconductors, and more specifically, to semiconductor nanostructures.
Semiconductor materials have an electrical conductivity value that falls between that of a conductor, such as copper, and an insulator, such as glass. Semiconductor materials are used in many modern electronics. Semiconductor materials may be elemental materials or compound materials. Silicon, germanium, and alloys thereof, are two types of semiconductor materials used in many semiconductor devices.
Complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology is used for constructing integrated circuits. Semiconductor manufacturing techniques include various precise methods for forming nanoscale structures. CMOS technology is used in microprocessors, microcontrollers, static RAM, and other digital logic circuits. CMOS designs may use complementary and symmetrical pairs of p-type and n-type metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs) for logic functions.
According to an embodiment, a device for isolating a microbe or a virion includes a semiconductor substrate; and a trench formed in the semiconductor substrate and extending from a surface of the semiconductor substrate to a region within the semiconductor substrate; wherein the trench has dimensions such that the microbe or the virion is trapped within the trench.
According to another embodiment, a device for isolating a microbe or a virion includes a first semiconductor layer having a first trench extending from a first surface to a second surface of the first semiconductor layer; a second semiconductor layer having a second trench extending from a first surface to a second surface of the second semiconductor layer, the second trench having a diameter that is smaller than the first trench; and an elongated gap positioned between portions of the first semiconductor layer and the second semiconductor layer.
Yet, according to another embodiment, a device for damaging or destroying a microbe or a virion includes a semiconductor substrate; and an array of protrusions having nanoscale dimensions extending from the semiconductor substrate; and wherein the microbe or the virion is damaged or destroyed after being disposed on the array of protrusions.
The subject matter which is regarded as the invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the claims at the conclusion of the specification. The foregoing and other features, and advantages of the invention are apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
Semiconductor manufacturing techniques may be used to create precision-constructed nanostructures on the same scale as pathogenic organisms, for example, viruses and bacteria. By tuning the size and shape, the nanostructures may be used to trap, measure, physically filter, or attack and destroy the pathogens. Using such methods, the pathogens may not be prone to develop resistance.
Accordingly, various methods for trapping, measuring, filtering, and attacking pathogens are described herein. The disclosed methods reduce the risk for pathogens developing antibiotic resistance. In some embodiments, a size-based trapping/filtering mechanism is described. In other embodiments, a spike-like envelope puncture mechanism is used. Like reference numerals refer to like elements across different embodiments.
The following definitions and abbreviations are to be used for the interpretation of the claims and the specification. As used herein, the terms “comprises,” “comprising,” “includes,” “including,” “has,” “having,” “contains” or “containing,” or any other variation thereof, are intended to cover a non-exclusive inclusion. For example, a composition, a mixture, process, method, article, or apparatus that comprises a list of elements is not necessarily limited to only those elements but can include other elements not expressly listed or inherent to such composition, mixture, process, method, article, or apparatus.
As used herein, the articles “a” and “an” preceding an element or component are intended to be nonrestrictive regarding the number of instances (i.e. occurrences) of the element or component. Therefore, “a” or “an” should be read to include one or at least one, and the singular word form of the element or component also includes the plural unless the number is obviously meant to be singular.
As used herein, the terms “invention” or “present invention” are non-limiting terms and not intended to refer to any single aspect of the particular invention but encompass all possible aspects as described in the specification and the claims.
As used herein, the term “about” modifying the quantity of an ingredient, component, or reactant of the invention employed refers to variation in the numerical quantity that can occur, for example, through typical measuring and liquid handling procedures used for making concentrates or solutions. Furthermore, variation can occur from inadvertent error in measuring procedures, differences in the manufacture, source, or purity of the ingredients employed to make the compositions or carry out the methods, and the like. In one aspect, the term “about” means within 10% of the reported numerical value. In another aspect, the term “about” means within 5% of the reported numerical value. Yet, in another aspect, the term “about” means within 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1% of the reported numerical value.
As used herein, the term “microbe” means a microorganism, for example, a bacteria or an archaeon.
As used herein, the term “virion” means a viral DNA or RNA core with a protein coat, and optionally an external envelope.
Turning now to the Figures,
Non-limiting examples of semiconductor materials include Si (silicon, including polysilicon), strained Si, SiC (silicon carbide), Ge (germanium), SiGe (silicon germanium), SiGeC (silicon-germanium-carbon), Si alloys, Ge alloys, III-V materials (e.g., GaAs (gallium arsenide), InAs (indium arsenide), InP (indium phosphide), aluminum arsenide (AlAs)), or any combination thereof. Other non-limiting examples of semiconductor silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates with buried oxide (BOX) layers.
Non-limiting examples of dielectric materials include dielectric oxides (e.g., silicon oxide), dielectric nitrides (e.g., silicon nitride), dielectric oxynitrides, or any combination thereof.
After forming the substrate 101, optionally, a microbe/virion binding material 110 is disposed on the substrate 101. The microbe/virion binding material 110 may be a material that has an affinity for the microbe/virion 130 of interest. In some embodiments (not shown), the microbe/virion binding material 110 may be disposed in the holes 120.
An additional layer 102 may be disposed on the substrate 101 to form the holes 120. Or the holes 120 (apertures/trenches) may be formed directly in the substrate 101. The additional layer 102 may be the substrate 101 material or another semiconductor and/or dielectric material.
The holes 120 may be formed in the substrate 101 or the additional layer 102 by performing lithography and etch process. The etch process may be a wet etch process or a dry etch process, for example, a reactive ion etch (RIE) process. The size of the holes 120, for example, the width 111 and depth 112, may generally vary and depend on the microbe/virion 130 that is targeted. For some microbes/virions 130, deeper trenches may more easily trap the target. The depths of the holes 120 may be, for example, up to 200 nm. The diameters of the holes 120 may become smaller (more narrow), as the depth increases.
The microbe/virion 130 may be for example, a bacterium, an archaeon, or other pathogen. The microbe/virion 130 will be trapped within the holes 120 after a solution or sample including the microbes/virions 130 is disposed on the surface of the semiconductor structures comprising the holes 120. The microbes/virions 130 then become trapped within the trenches.
The size of the holes 120 may generally vary and depend on the targeted microbe/virion. In some embodiments, the holes 120 have an average diameter in a range from about 70 to about 700 nm. In other embodiments, the holes 120 have an average diameter in a range from about 70 to about 150 nm.
In an exemplary embodiment, a 150 millimeter (mm) radius wafer may be used as the substrate. The 150 mm wafer has a surface area of about 0.0707 meters2 (m2), but only about half of the surface area may be sued to trap virions. An array of holes is formed in the substrate to trap a virus, for example, a poliovirus having about a 30 nm diameter. About 1.2e6 virions may be captured per wafer.
In another exemplary embodiment, the array of holes may be used as a virus strainer with a tuned pore size. Microelectronics processing methods may be used for precise channel size control.
In yet another exemplary embodiment, perpendicular double patterning may be used to form the holes. Deeper vertices and/or larger vertices within the substrate may allow virions to enter the substrate.
The substrate/slide is exposed to an environment that includes microbes/virions 330 (e.g., using a solution including the microbe/virion), and the microbes/virions 330 are trapped within the holes 320, as shown in
The microbes/virions 330 may be labeled with a fluorescent marker so that a black box and camera may be used to record fluorescence intensity. The fluorescence intensity will be directly proportional to the labeled microbe/virion 330 concentration in the holes 320. If the concentration is too high (or at the maximum level of detection), a more dilute solution of the microbe/virion 330 may be used until a measurable concentration is achieved. The microbes/virions 330 also may be studies using other analytical methods. Using arrays of holes to conduct assays as described is fast, inexpensive, robust, and size selective.
The microbe/virion 430, shown in
A solution of the microbes/virions 530 is disposed on the first layer 501 of the semiconductor structure. The first layer 501 includes holes 510 with diameters that are larger than the holes 511 in the second layer 502. The solution may include different sized microbes/virions 530. Microbes/virions 530 are large enough to pass through the holes 510 in the first layer 501, but are too large to pass through the holes 511 in the second layer 502 will be filtered through the fluid gap 550 between the first and second layers 501, 502. The microbes/virions 530 will exit (be expelled) between the layers and can be collected. Purified fluid, or fluid with smaller microbes/virions that may pass through the holes in the next layer (holes 511), will travel through the second layer 502 and exit the holes 511 in the second layer 502. The semiconductor structure may include other layers beneath second layer 502, as well as a second fluid gap beneath second layer 502 so that other particles are expelled from a different output area in the structure.
According to another embodiment, spikes (protrusions) of nanometer sized dimensions (nanospikes or nanoneedles) may be used to damage/destroy microbes/virions according to a third embodiment, which is described in
The dimensions and density of the nanospikes is chosen based on the targeted microbe/virion size. The poliovirus has a diameter of about 30 nm. An Escherichia coli is about 0.5 micron×2 microns. A human cell is about 10-100 microns in size.
The hard mask 802 may be an insulating material, silicon nitride (SiN), SiOCN, SiBCN, or any combination thereof. The hard mask 802 may be formed using a deposition method, for example, a CVD method or a physical vapor deposition (PVD) method. The photoresist 803 may be, for example, a polymeric spin-on material or other polymeric material.
The inverse pyramid-shaped trenches 821 are formed due to different etch rates on different crystal planes in the substrate 801.
As described above, various embodiments provide methods for isolating, trapping, measuring, filtering, and attacking pathogens are described herein. The disclosed methods reduce the risk for pathogens developing antibiotic resistance. In some embodiments, a size-based trapping/filtering mechanism is described. In other embodiments, a spike-like envelope puncture mechanism is used.
The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting of the invention. As used herein, the singular forms “a”, “an” and “the” are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms “comprises” and/or “comprising,” when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, element components, and/or groups thereof.
The corresponding structures, materials, acts, and equivalents of all means or step plus function elements in the claims below are intended to include any structure, material, or act for performing the function in combination with other claimed elements as specifically claimed. The description of the present invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description, but is not intended to be exhaustive or limited to the invention in the form disclosed. Many modifications and variations will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. The embodiment was chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and the practical application, and to enable others of ordinary skill in the art to understand the invention for various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated.
The diagrams depicted herein are just one example. There may be many variations to this diagram or the steps (or operations) described therein without departing from the spirit of the invention. For instance, the steps may be performed in a differing order or steps may be added, deleted or modified. All of these variations are considered a part of the claimed invention.
The descriptions of the various embodiments of the present invention have been presented for purposes of illustration, but are not intended to be exhaustive or limited to the embodiments disclosed. Many modifications and variations will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the described embodiments. The terminology used herein was chosen to best explain the principles of the embodiments, the practical application or technical improvement over technologies found in the marketplace, or to enable others of ordinary skill in the art to understand the embodiments disclosed herein.