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Photothermal Electrical Resonance Spectroscopy of Physisorbed Molecules on a Nanowire Resonator

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journal contribution
posted on 12.08.2015, 00:00 by Kovur Prashanthi, Arindam Phani, Thomas Thundat
Mid-infrared (IR) photothermal spectroscopy of adsorbed molecules is an ideal technique for molecular recognition in miniature sensors with very small thermal mass. Here, we report on combining the photothermal spectroscopy with electrical resonance of a semiconductor nanowire for enhanced sensitivity, selectivity, and simplified readout. Wide band gap semiconductor bismuth ferrite nanowire, by virtue of its very low thermal mass and abundance of surface states in the band gap, facilitates thermally induced charge carrier trapping in the surface states, which affects its electrical resonance response. Electrical resonance response of the nanowire varies significantly depending on the photothermal spectrum of the adsorbed molecules. We demonstrate highly selective detection of mid-IR photothermal spectral signatures of femtogram level molecules physisorbed on a nanowire by monitoring internal dissipation response at its electrical resonance.