Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Physics and Applied Physics

First Advisor

Joseph Reiner


Nanopore sensing is a label-free method used to characterize water-soluble molecules. Recent work describes how Au25(SG)18 clusters improve the single molecule nanopore spectrometry (SMNS) technique when analyzing polyethylene glycol (PEG). This thesis will further study and optimize the enhancement effect resulting from a cluster’s presence. Additionally, a model describing the interaction between a cluster and PEG is developed to assist in understanding this mechanism of enhancement. This thesis will also discuss expanding the SMNS method to detect peptides, using Au25(SG)18 for enhancement, and adjusting solution conditions to improve the sensitivity of the SMNS system for peptide detection. Finally, a model describing the relationship between nanopore current blockades and molecular weight is developed to demonstrate the feasibility of using SMNS as a viable analytical technique for characterizing a wide variety of water-soluble molecules.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Tuesday, May 11, 2021