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Highly Efficient Biocompatible Single Silicon Nanowire Electrodes with Functional Biological Pore Channels

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journal contribution
posted on 11.03.2009, 00:00 authored by Julio A. Martinez, Nipun Misra, Yinmin Wang, Pieter Stroeve, Costas P. Grigoropoulos, Aleksandr Noy
Nanoscale electrodes based on one-dimensional inorganic conductors could possess significant advantages for electrochemical measurements over their macroscopic counterparts in a variety of electrochemical applications. We show that the efficiency of the electrodes constructed of individual highly doped silicon nanowires greatly exceeds the efficiency of flat Si electrodes. Modification of the surfaces of the nanowire electrodes with phospholipid bilayers produces an efficient biocompatible barrier to transport of the solution redox species to the nanoelectrode surface. Incorporating functional α-hemolysin protein pores in the lipid bilayer results in a partial recovery of the Faradic current due to the specific transport through the protein pore. These assemblies represent a robust and versatile platform for building a new generation of highly specific biosensors and nano/bioelectronic devices.