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Tuesday, August 27
at 12 noon
Marcus Nanotechnology Building Conference Room

Fabrication, Characterization, and Modeling of Silicon-on-Insulator Field-
Effect-Transistor Nanoribbon Biosensors

Eric M. Vogel Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Materials Science and Engineering

For over 30 years, field effect transistors (FETs) have been used as sensors. In the past, Ion-
Sensitive-FETs (ISFET) were based on bulk Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (MOS) FET designs and
the device was gated by biasing the electrolyte through the reference electrode. Recently,
functionalized silicon nanowires and silicon-on-insulator (SOI) devices have been introduced for
their greater sensitivity in detecting proteins, DNA and even single viruses. This work focuses on
a variety of issues that impact the properties of SOI FET nanoribbon sensors. The ability to
stabilize and control the attachment of cells on the sensor surface is critical. Therefore, the
reliability and reproducibility of self-assembled-monolayers such as aminosilanes will be
presented. Biological solutions consist of protein or DNA in an electrolytic solution containing
salt ions. Some of these ions, such as Na, have long been known to cause instabilities in MOS
devices. The effect of mobile ions on SOI-based sensors will be presented. The SOI-based sensor
structure results in the electrolyte voltage being capacitively coupled to the back gate voltage.
The impact of this coupling on sensor response will be described. Physically realistic SPICE
models were developed and illustrate the response of both pH and biosensors with a multi-gate
model. The model demonstrates good agreement to experimental data including the impact of
Debye screening and site binding charge.

Biography Eric M. Vogel is currently Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and
adjunct Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of
Technology. Prior to joining Georgia Tech in August 2011, he was Associate Professor of
Materials Science and Engineering, and Electrical Engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas
(UTD) where he was also Associate Director of the Texas Analog Center of Excellence. Prior to
joining UTD in August of 2006, he was leader of the CMOS and Novel Devices Group at the
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and was founding Director of the NIST
Nanofab for which he received a Department of Commerce Silver Medal. He received the Ph. D.
degree in 1998 in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University and the B. S.
degree in 1994 in electrical engineering from Penn State University. Dr. Vogels research
interests relate to materials and devices for future micro- and nano-electronics. He has
published over 150 journal articles and proceedings and given over 70 invited talks and tutorials.
This lecture will be used as a case study several times during the course. The first time is the
Homework I. Download it and study it!
Video @:

(Format: 1.5 spaced; 1 margins; font 10; 1 page)
Unfortunately the slides have not been numbered. Therefore, the times
mentioned in the questions below are approximate times when the slides
appeared on the screen
1. Comment on the suitability of DNA or avidin-biotin reaction as binding
sites for direct chemical sensing (see also Food for Thought #2, DNA
2. On slide (~640) a comment has been made about the charge on the
OH group at low/high pH. Was this comment correct? Low pH positively
charged, high pH negatively charged can use for pH sensor. Charge of
protein depends on pH that you are trying to sense. pI of protein. At low
pH H+ associates with O- and at high pH OH- is formed.
3. On slides (~6 and onwards) schematic of a sensor is shown that has at
least two metal electrodes to which voltage is applied. If they are used in
aqueous medium what will be the critical part of such sensor? The impedance
of the electrode is inversely proportional to its area A. Therefore,
it is the current density j and not the current i that is the dominating factor in the
response of the electrochemical cell. Current and current density are simply related
by (5.15).
j0 =
Here also lies the reason for making the area of the working electrode much smaller
than that of the auxiliary electrode. Because the two electrodes are connected in
series, the larger impedance of the two dominates the overall i V response of
the cell. Because we want all the information to originate only from the working
electrode, we have to make its area smaller. This point is frequently neglected
when, for convenience of fabrication, electrodes of equal area are used in some
1. microfabricated amperometric and conductometric sensors.
2. On slides 16-26 silanization study is described (also in paper
J.Mat.Chem.21, 4384 (2011)). Comment on difference using tri-chloro vs.
tri-alkoxy silanes, particularly in terms of stability of modified surfaces in