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Principles of Electronic Nanobiosensors

Unit 3: Sensitivity
Lecture 3.12: Cantilever-based Sensors:
Nonlinear Sensing Flexure FET

By Muhammad A. Alam
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Purdue University
alam@purdue.edu
A. Shakouri nanoHUB-U Fall 2013

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Outline
Introduction: Weakening the spring
Electro-mechanical sensors (Capacitor-oscillator)
Electro-mechanical sensors
Basics of transistor physics
Transistor in sub-threshold
Conclusion
Appendix

Alam, Principles of Nanobiosensors, 2013

Three types of sensors


Potentiometric
Fluid Gate

Amperometric
Ref. & Aux.
Electrode

Mechanical
Hybrid!
Gate

Charge to current

Chemical to current
Alam, Principles of Nanobiosensors, 2013

Stress to current
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Basics of Flexure-FET
S

Gate

Gate

Alam, Principles of Nanobiosensors, 2013

Before and after capture of molecules


d C ( y )V 2 V 2 A

k (y 0 y) =
= 2
dy
2 2y

V 2

kb (y 0 yb ) =2
2 yb

V 2

ka (y 0 y a ) =2
2 ya

Alam, Principles of Nanobiosensors, 2013

Capacitive response at the critical point


2kb (y 0 yb ) yb2 =
V 2
2ka (y 0 y a ) y 2a =
V 2
2(kb + k )(y 0 yb y)(yb + y) 2 =
V 2

k
(3 yb y 0 ) y + yb y (3 yb 2 y 0 ) =
(V )
2 kb 2
2

2
2(

V
) k
2
y =

1NS
2
3 yb y0 2kb

yb y0
3

Alam, Principles of Nanobiosensors, 2013

Outline
Introduction: Weakening the spring
Electro-mechanical sensors (Capacitor-oscillator)
Electro-mechanical sensors
Basics of transistor physics
Transistor operating in inversion
Conclusion
Appendix

Alam, Principles of Nanobiosensors, 2013

Recall: Transistor Physics


Resistor

Accumulation

Depletion

Inversion

Alam, Principles of Nanobiosensors, 2013

Flexure-FET in accumulation

air

Ox

VG

n-Si

Ceq =

C0Cair ( y )
C0 + Cair ( y )

QMOS = CeqVG

=
I Q=
QMOS
MOS
Cair

C0

Alam, Principles of Nanobiosensors, 2013

VD
L

Flexure-FET in inversion

air

Ox

VG

p-Si

C0Cair ( y )
Ceq =
C0 + Cair ( y )
=
QMOS Ceq (VG Vth )

=
I Q=
QMOS
MOS
Cair

VD
L

C0

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Transistor: Reading at inversion


=
I DS QMOS

VDS
L

I DS QMOS

=
QMOS Ceq (VG Vth )
I DS =
C ( yb ya
1

y
)= 2
yb

2
2

V
k
2
y =

1NS
2
3 yb y0 2kb

I DS

y
2 1NS
yb

Recall potentiometric sensor

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Flexure-FET in sub-threshold
s
air

Ox

VG

p-Si

s =

Ceq
Ceq + CD
2
i

VG

n
e
Q=
q
MOS
NA

qs
k BT

=
I Q=
QMOS
MOS
Cair

D
L

C0 CD

The surface potential is defined by depletion capacitance;


Charges simply respond to the potential.
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Reading at sub-threshold
I DS (qn i2 / N A ) e

qs
k BT

=
s 1 N s 2 N s

1 k / (k B T s N A A)
3(y 0 y) A t H t
2
k BT s N A AH
S Flexure

I DS 1
(

e 1
I DS 2

N s 2 N s )

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Supersensitive Flexure-FET
Jain et. al., PNAS 2012

Electromechanical response gives rise to


exponential sensitivity
Eliminates the reference electrode
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Conclusions
Spring softening is the key to enhanced sensitivity of
nonlinear transistor-coupled cantilever sensors.
Sub-threshold conduction gives rise to the exponential
response. Response scales as square-root of biomolecule
density at inversion or accumulation.
The key to enhanced response is irrelevance of salt
screening.
Like other cantilever sensors, settling time and selectivity
remain independent concerns for flexure-FET.
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