Differentiation of Complex Vapor Mixtures Using Versatile DNA-Carbon Nanotube Chemical Sensor Arrays

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Vapor sensors based on functionalized carbon nanotubes (NTs) have shown great promise, with high sensitivity conferred by the reduced dimensionality and exceptional electronic properties of the NT. Critical challenges in the development of NT-based sensor arrays for electronic nose systems include the demonstration of reproducible fabrication methods and functionalization schemes that provide high chemical diversity to the resulting sensors. Here, we outline a scalable approach to fabricating arrays of vapor sensors consisting of NT field effect transistors functionalized with single-stranded DNA (DNA-NT). DNA-NT sensors were highly reproducible, with responses that were well described by equilibrium thermodynamics. Target analytes were detected even in large backgrounds of volatile interferents. DNA-NT sensors were able to discriminate between highly similar molecules, including structural isomers and enantiomers. The sensors were also able to detect subtle variations in complex vapors, including mixtures of structural isomers and mixtures of many volatile organic compounds characteristic of humans. This work paves the way for incorporation of DNA-NT sensor arrays in “electronic nose”-type systems.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Nanotechnology 2013: Electronics, Devices, Fabrication, MEMS, Fluidics and Computational (Volume 2)
Published: May 12, 2013
Pages: 127 - 130
Industry sector: Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topics: MEMS & NEMS Devices, Modeling & Applications
ISBN: 978-1-4822-0584-8