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Sensors 2011, 11(9), 8769-8781; doi:10.3390/s110908769
Article

Gamma-Ray Sterilization Effects in Silica Nanoparticles/γ-APTES Nanocomposite-Based pH-Sensitive Polysilicon Wire Sensors

1,*  and 2
1 Department of Applied Materials and Optoelectronic Engineering, National Chi Nan University, Puli, Nantou, 54561, Taiwan 2 Department of Electrical Engineering, National Chi Nan University, Puli, Nantou, 54561, Taiwan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 August 2011 / Revised: 7 September 2011 / Accepted: 8 September 2011 / Published: 13 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
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Abstract

In this paper, we report the γ-ray sterilization effects in pH-sensitive polysilicon wire (PSW) sensors using a mixture of 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (γ-APTES) and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-treated hydrophobic fumed silica nanoparticles (NPs) as a sensing membrane. pH analyses showed that the γ-ray irradiation-induced sensitivity degradation of the PSW pH sensor covered with γ-APTES/silica NPs nanocomposite (γ-APTES+NPs) could be restored to a condition even better than prior to γ-ray irradiation by 40-min of post-sterilization room-temperature UV annealing. We found that the trapping charges caused by γ-ray sterilization primarily concentrated in the native oxide layer for the pH sensor covered with γ-APTES, but accumulated in the γ-APTES+NPs layer for the γ-APTES+NPs-covered sensor. It is believed that mixing the PDMS-treated silica NPs into g-APTES provides many g-APTES/SiO2 interfaces for the accumulation of trapping charges and for post-sterilization UV oxidation, thus restoring γ-ray-induced sensor degradation. The PDMS-treated silica NPs not only enhance the sensitivity of the pH-sensitive PSW sensors but are also able to withstand the two-step sterilization resulting from γ-ray and UV irradiations. This investigation suggests γ-ray irradiation could be used as a highly-efficient sterilization method for γ-APTES-based pH-sensitive biosensors.
Keywords: 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane; polydimethylsiloxane; silica nanoparticles; γ-ray sterilization; post-sterilization UV annealing 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane; polydimethylsiloxane; silica nanoparticles; γ-ray sterilization; post-sterilization UV annealing
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Lin, J.-J.; Hsu, P.-Y. Gamma-Ray Sterilization Effects in Silica Nanoparticles/γ-APTES Nanocomposite-Based pH-Sensitive Polysilicon Wire Sensors. Sensors 2011, 11, 8769-8781.

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