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Nat Mater. 2007 May;6(5):379-84. Epub 2007 Apr 22.

Highly ordered nanowire arrays on plastic substrates for ultrasensitive flexible chemical sensors.

Author information

1
Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.

Abstract

The development of a robust method for integrating high-performance semiconductors on flexible plastics could enable exciting avenues in fundamental research and novel applications. One area of vital relevance is chemical and biological sensing, which if implemented on biocompatible substrates, could yield breakthroughs in implantable or wearable monitoring systems. Semiconducting nanowires (and nanotubes) are particularly sensitive chemical sensors because of their high surface-to-volume ratios. Here, we present a scalable and parallel process for transferring hundreds of pre-aligned silicon nanowires onto plastic to yield highly ordered films for low-power sensor chips. The nanowires are excellent field-effect transistors, and, as sensors, exhibit parts-per-billion sensitivity to NO2, a hazardous pollutant. We also use SiO2 surface chemistries to construct a 'nano-electronic nose' library, which can distinguish acetone and hexane vapours via distributed responses. The excellent sensing performance coupled with bendable plastic could open up opportunities in portable, wearable or even implantable sensors.

PMID:
17450146
PMCID:
PMC3695594
DOI:
10.1038/nmat1891
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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