Graphene Based Transistors and Supported Lipid Bilayer
Graphene is an attractive material not only because of its electronic and optical properties, but also is considered for its potential applications in electronics and sensors. Owing to its unique structure and electrical property that are extremely sensitive to its surrounding environment, graphene-based field effect transistors (FETs) show significantly potential in various applications for chemicals and biomelocules sensors.
Here, we have demonstrated three different works. In the first project, we present a simple, low-cost, large area, and contamination-free monolayer graphene field effect transistor for liquid-gated sensing applications. The graphene surface does not require any photoresist including the commonly used polymethylmethacrylate, thus avoiding possible contamination and mobility degradation. We also examine the
effects of different etching solutions and concentrations on the Dirac point of graphene. With optimal device fabrication recipe, we demonstrate the device's capability to sense different KCl concentrations and pH values under liquid gating configuration. Additionally, using polydimethylsiloxane as substrates holds an advantage of enabling simple integration between microfluidic systems and graphene for chemical and biological sensor applications. In the second project, the interaction of cell and organelle membranes (lipid bilayers) with nanoelectronics can enable new technologies to sense and measure electrophysiology in qualitatively new ways. To date, a variety of sensing devices have been demonstrated to measure membrane currents through macroscopic numbers of ion channels. However, nanoelectronic based sensing of single ion channel currents has been a challenge. Here, we report graphene-based field-effect transistors combined with supported lipid bilayers as a platform for measuring, for the first time, individual ion channel activity. We show that the supported lipid bilayers uniformly coat the single layer graphene surface, acting as a biomimetic barrier that insulates (both electrically and chemically) the graphene from the electrolyte environment.
Upon introduction of poreforming membrane proteins such as alamethicin and gramicidin A, current pulses are observed through the lipid bilayers from the graphene to the electrolyte, which charge the quantum capacitance of the graphene. This approach combines nanotechnology with electrophysiology to demonstrate qualitatively new ways of measuring ion channel currents.
In the third project, we apply polyelectrolyte multilayer films by consecutively alternative adsorption of positively charged polyallylamine hydrochloride and negatively charged sodium polystyrene sulfonate to the surface of graphene field effect transistors. Oscillations in the Dirac voltage shift with alternating positive and negative layers clearly demonstrate the electrostatic gating effect in this simple model
system. A simple electrostatic model accounts well for the sign and magnitude of the Dirac voltage shift. Using this system, we are able to create p-type or n-type graphene at will. This model serves as the basis for understanding the mechanism of charged polymer sensing using graphene devices, a potentially technologically important application of graphene in areas such as DNA sequencing, biomarker assays for cancer detection, and other protein sensing applications.