Biomimetic sensors based on high performance, nanowire channel field effect transistors

Project Director: Dr. Ionut ENCULESCU
Project ID:
Project Director:
Ionut Enculescu
Project Type:
Project Program:
Funded by:
Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, UEFISCDI

INCD Fizica Materialelor

Project Status:
In progress
Start Date:
Monday, 12 June, 2017
End Date:
Tuesday, 10 December, 2019
Project Abstract:

            The present project aims at developing a biomimetic biosensor (bioFET) based on a nanowire channel field effect transistor. The device shall exploit (i) the excellent performance of nanowire field effect transistors, (ii) their particular channel geometry with high surface to volume ratios and (c) a biomimetic detection mechanism enabling sensing of low concentrations of specific target molecules. The bio-detector’s architecture will combine three key elements – (i) a high performance FET based on quasi one dimensional semiconducting nanowires; (ii) a thin film gate insulator which enables both operation in liquid/wet environment and biofunctionalization with odorant (olfactory) receptor proteins (OR) (iii) a specific bioactive functional hydrogel layer containing odorant binding proteins (OBP) with the role of locally increasing the analyte molecule concentration. Such a device will mimic living organisms smell physiology and may be an excellent tool in the fast and precise measurement and analysis of specific molecules with applications ranging from medical diagnosis to environmental monitoring. The architecture employed and the detection mechanisms will mimic olfaction by combining both odorant binding proteins and odorant receptor proteins and will aim at surpassing state of the art similar devices. A field effect transistor uses a gate potential for changing the conductance of a channel. In the particular architecture of a biodetector FET gate potential changes will be a consequence of specific binding reactions such as the reaction of OBPs with the odorant molecules or the reactions of OBP – odorant complexes with OR.

Project Objectives:

Based on that main objective the subsequent goals of this project would be:

(i) Fabricating specific nanowires by different approaches (CVD, electrochemical and chemical growth of semiconductor nanowires, thermal oxidation);

(ii)       Fabricating of electronic devices based on nanostructures – Field effect transistor structures with semiconductor nanowire channels will be fabricated using photo and electron beam lithographical approaches;

(iii)      Functionalization, passivation and other processes in order to obtain the desired device characteristics.

(iv)      Increase of specificity and sensitivity of the sensor by fine tuning its electrical and functional characteristics.


Functional Nanostructures group from NIMP

During the first step of the project CdTe nanowire based field effect transistors were fabricated. In this context the substrates were covered with electrode systems using photolithography. Further individual nanowires were contacted by means of electron beam lithography.


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