Nanoenabled microelectromechanical sensor for volatile organic chemical detection

Chiara Zuniga; Rinaldi, Matteo; Khamis, Samuel M.; Johnson, A. T.; Piazza, Gianluca
June 2009
Applied Physics Letters;6/1/2009, Vol. 94 Issue 22, p223122
Academic Journal
A nanoenabled gravimetric chemical sensor prototype based on the large scale integration of single-stranded DNA (ss-DNA) decorated single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) as nanofunctionalization layer for aluminum nitride contour-mode resonant microelectromechanical (MEM) gravimetric sensors has been demonstrated. The capability of two distinct single strands of DNA bound to SWNTs to enhance differently the adsorption of volatile organic compounds such as dinitroluene (simulant for explosive vapor) and dymethyl-methylphosphonate (simulant for nerve agent sarin) has been verified experimentally. Different levels of sensitivity (17.3 and 28 KHz μm2/fg) due to separate frequencies of operation (287 and 450 MHz) on the same die have also been shown to prove the large dynamic range of sensitivity attainable with the sensor. The adsorption process in the ss-DNA decorated SWNTs does not occur in the bulk of the material, but solely involves the surface, which permits to achieve 50% recovery in less than 29 s.


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