Ionic gradients play a crucial role in the physiology of the human body, ranging from metabolism in cells to muscle contractions or brain activities. To monitor these ions, inexpensive, label-free chemical sensing devices are needed. Field-effect transistors (FETs) based on silicon (Si) nanowires or nanoribbons (NRs) have a great potential as future biochemical sensors as they allow for the integration in microscopic devices at low production costs. Integrating NRs in dense arrays on a single chip expands the field of applications to implantable electrodes or multifunctional chemical sensing platforms. Ideally, such a platform is capable of detecting numerous species in a complex analyte. Here, we demonstrate the basis for simultaneous sodium and fluoride ion detection with a single sensor chip consisting of arrays of gold-coated SiNR FETs. A microfluidic system with individual channels allows modifying the NR surfaces with self-assembled monolayers of two types of ion receptors sensitive to sodium and fluoride ions. The functionalization procedure results in a differential setup having active fluoride- and sodium-sensitive NRs together with bare gold control NRs on the same chip. Comparing functionalized NRs with control NRs allows the compensation of non-specific contributions from changes in the background electrolyte concentration and reveals the response to the targeted species.
Stoop, R. L., Wipf, M., Müller, S., Bedner, K., Wright, I. A., Martin, C. J., … Calame, M. (2016). Implementing silicon nanoribbon field-effect transistors as arrays for multiple ion detection. Biosensors, 6(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/bios6020021