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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Aug 1;103(31):11452-6. Epub 2006 Jul 19.

Chemoresponsive monolayer transistors.

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Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.


This work details a method to make efficacious field-effect transistors from monolayers of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are able to sense and respond to their chemical environment. The molecules used in this study are functionalized so that they assemble laterally into columns and attach themselves to the silicon oxide surface of a silicon wafer. To measure the electrical properties of these monolayers, we use ultrasmall point contacts that are separated by only a few nanometers as the source and drain electrodes. These contacts are formed through an oxidative cutting of an individual metallic single-walled carbon nanotube that is held between macroscopic metal leads. The molecules assemble in the gap and form transistors with large current modulation and high gate efficiency. Because these devices are formed from an individual stack of molecules, their electrical properties change significantly when exposed to electron-deficient molecules such as tetracyanoquinodimethane (TCNQ), forming the basis for new types of environmental and molecular sensors.

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