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Old 02-18-2012, 07:16 AM   #27
Location: New Jersey

Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 61

Originally Posted by BBoy View Post
Yes, this was an unfortunate design decision in their instrument design that is relatively easily correctable. Fabricating an integrated waveguide distribution system that delivers light to the ZMWs and is locally aligned with sub-um precision is a trivial task by today's technology standards - every microprocessor today does that for billions of features with a precision of a few nanometers. Slapping a dedicated disposable CMOS active pixel as the local sensing element is also a well understood task. None of these are conceptual limitations. Whether Pac Bio gets to address them before they run out of cash is an open question.

Agreed. But how do you pack millions of these on a sub-1um pitch in an ordered array that is aligned to the sensor underneath? Please don't tell me "directed self assembly"

And neither is there one in my mind. The technology that solves PacBio's problem was developed decades ago and is in massive use today (every cell phone camera basically implements it). The technology required to create an ordered array of millions of biological nanopores exists only in Nature papers :-)

Hey, people are publishing papers on graphene for nanopore sensing. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig. Yes, synthetic nanopores are with the required dimensions and tolerance are at least a decade away. Biological nanopores are here to stay.

And I have limited knowledge of anything other than semiconductors. So we have a deaf communicating with a mute and a blind (now THAT was a funny movie back in its day :-)

Ouch...this stuff is waaaaaay over my head. I'll need to ask my brother to read and decipher (he's Chief Systems Technologist at a large chip foundry). Who knows, maybe I can peak his interest.
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