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Graphene Transistors with Multifunctional Polymer Brushes for Biosensing Applications

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journal contribution
posted on 25.06.2014, 00:00 by Lucas H. Hess, Alina Lyuleeva, Benno M. Blaschke, Matthias Sachsenhauser, Max Seifert, Jose A. Garrido, Frank Deubel
Exhibiting a combination of exceptional structural and electronic properties, graphene has a great potential for the development of highly sensitive sensors. To date, many challenging chemical, biochemical, and biologic sensing tasks have been realized based on graphene. However, many of these sensors are rather unspecific. To overcome this problem, for instance, the sensor surface can be modified with analyte-specific transducers such as enzymes. One problem associated with the covalent attachment of such biomolecular systems is the introduction of crystal defects that have a deleterious impact on the electronic properties of the sensor. In this work, we present a versatile platform for biosensing applications based on polymer-modified CVD-grown graphene transistors. The functionalization method of graphene presented here allows one to integrate several functional groups within surface-bound polymer brushes without the introduction of additional defects. To demonstrate the potential of this polymer brush functionalization scaffold, we modified solution-gated graphene field-effect transistors with the enzyme acetylcholinesterase and a transducing group, allowing the detection of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Taking advantage of the transducing capability of graphene transistors and the versatility of polymer chemistry and enzyme biochemistry, this study presents a novel route for the fabrication of highly sensitive, multipurpose transistor sensors that can find application for a multitude of biologically relevant analytes.