American Chemical Society
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Enhancing Electrochemical Sensing through Molecular Engineering of Reduced Graphene Oxide–Solution Interfaces and Remote Floating-Gate FET Analysis

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-16, 01:43 authored by Wen Zhuang, Hyun-June Jang, Xiaoyu Sui, Byunghoon Ryu, Yuqin Wang, Haihui Pu, Junhong Chen
Two-dimensional nanomaterials such as reduced graphene oxide (rGO) have captured significant attention in the realm of field-effect transistor (FET) sensors due to their inherent high sensitivity and cost-effective manufacturing. Despite their attraction, a comprehensive understanding of rGO–solution interfaces (specifically, electrochemical interfacial properties influenced by linker molecules and surface chemistry) remains challenging, given the limited capability of analytical tools to directly measure intricate solution interface properties. In this study, we introduce an analytical tool designed to directly measure the surface charge density of the rGO–solution interface leveraging the remote floating-gate FET (RFGFET) platform. Our methodology involves characterizing the electrochemical properties of rGO, which are influenced by adhesion layers between SiO2 and rGO, such as (3-aminopropyl)­trimethoxysilane (APTMS) and hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS). The hydrophilic nature of APTMS facilitates the acceptance of oxygen-rich rGO, resulting in a noteworthy pH sensitivity of 56.8 mV/pH at the rGO–solution interface. Conversely, hydrophobic HMDS significantly suppresses the pH sensitivity from the rGO–solution interface, attributed to the graphitic carbon-rich surface of rGO. Consequently, the carbon-rich surface facilitates a denser arrangement of 1-pyrenebutyric acid N-hydroxysuccinimide ester linkers for functionalizing capturing probes on rGO, resulting in an enhanced sensitivity of lead ions by 32% in our proof-of-concept test.