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Fully Solid-State Graphene Transistors with Striking Homogeneity and Sensitivity for the Practicalization of Single-Device Electronic Bioassays

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journal contribution
posted on 17.12.2019, 20:04 by Cheng Wang, Jingjing Wu, Yashuo He, Ze Song, Sumeng Shi, Yibo Zhu, Yuan Jia, Weixiang Ye
To break through a critical barrier in the practical application of graphene biosensors, namely, device-to-device performance inhomogeneity, this work presents a novel scenario employing a fully solid-state (FSS) transistor configuration. Herein, the graphene sensing unit is completely encapsulated by a high-κ solid dielectric material, which isolates the sensing unit from solution contaminants and thus homogeneously maintains the extraordinary carrier mobility of pristine graphene in batch-made devices. To create an interface sensitive to biomolecular interactions based on the FSS configuration, a metallic floating gate functionalized by conductive mercapto-phenyl molecular linkers is defined on the top-layer solid dielectric. As the solid dielectric layer beneath the metal floating gate enables a higher capacitive gating efficiency than the regular graphene-solution electrical double layer (EDL) interface, the overall transistor amplification gain is further enhanced. As a proof of principle, a label-free DNAzymatic bioassay of Pb2+ is conducted. Without the traditional one-by-one device normalization, an excellent concentration detection limit of 929.8 fM is achieved, which is almost 2 orders of magnitude lower than that in existing works. The FSS configuration allows enhanced sensitivity and homogeneity, thereby providing new developmental guidelines for graphene biosensors beyond the laboratory investigation stage. Additionally, it has the potential to be universally applicable for cost-efficient single-device bioassays.

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