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ACS Nano. 2012 Apr 24;6(4):3100-8. doi: 10.1021/nn204830b. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

Organic transistors with ordered nanoparticle arrays as a tailorable platform for selective, in situ detection.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States.


The use of organic transistors as sensing platforms provides a number of distinct advantages over conventional detection technologies, including their tunability, portability, and ability to directly transduce binding events without tedious and expensive labeling procedures. However, detection efforts using organic transistors lack a general method to uniquely specify and detect a target of interest. While highly sensitive liquid- and vapor-phase sensors have been previously reported, detection has been restricted either to the serendipitous interaction of the analyte molecules with the organic semiconductor or to the covalent functionalization of the semiconductor with receptor groups to enhance specificity. However, the former technique cannot be regularly relied upon for tailorable sensing while the latter may result in unpredictable decreases in electronic performance. Thus, a method to provide modular receptor sites on the surface of an organic transistor without damaging the device will significantly advance the field, especially regarding biological species detection. In this work, we utilized a block copolymer to template ordered, large-area arrays of gold nanoparticles, with sub-100 nm center-to-center spacing onto the surface of an organic transistor. This highly modular platform is designed for orthogonal modification with a number of available chemical and biological functional groups by taking advantage of the well-studied gold-thiol linkage. Herein, we demonstrate the functionalization of gold nanoparticles with a mercury-binding oligonucleotide sequence. Finally, we demonstrate the highly selective and robust detection of mercury(II) using this platform in an underwater environment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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