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Sensors 2017, 17(4), 705; doi:10.3390/s17040705

Feasibility Study of Extended-Gate-Type Silicon Nanowire Field-Effect Transistors for Neural Recording

1
Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon 34141, Korea
2
Department of Electrical Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon 34141, Korea
3
KAIST Institute for the NanoCentury, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon 34141, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 January 2017 / Revised: 8 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors)
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Abstract

In this research, a high performance silicon nanowire field-effect transistor (transconductance as high as 34 µS and sensitivity as 84 nS/mV) is extensively studied and directly compared with planar passive microelectrode arrays for neural recording application. Electrical and electrochemical characteristics are carefully characterized in a very well-controlled manner. We especially focused on the signal amplification capability and intrinsic noise of the transistors. A neural recording system using both silicon nanowire field-effect transistor-based active-type microelectrode array and platinum black microelectrode-based passive-type microelectrode array are implemented and compared. An artificial neural spike signal is supplied as input to both arrays through a buffer solution and recorded simultaneously. Recorded signal intensity by the silicon nanowire transistor was precisely determined by an electrical characteristic of the transistor, transconductance. Signal-to-noise ratio was found to be strongly dependent upon the intrinsic 1/f noise of the silicon nanowire transistor. We found how signal strength is determined and how intrinsic noise of the transistor determines signal-to-noise ratio of the recorded neural signals. This study provides in-depth understanding of the overall neural recording mechanism using silicon nanowire transistors and solid design guideline for further improvement and development. View Full-Text
Keywords: silicon nanowire; field-effect transistor (FETs); neural recording; 1/f noise; random telegraph noise; microelectrode array silicon nanowire; field-effect transistor (FETs); neural recording; 1/f noise; random telegraph noise; microelectrode array
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kang, H.; Kim, J.-Y.; Choi, Y.-K.; Nam, Y. Feasibility Study of Extended-Gate-Type Silicon Nanowire Field-Effect Transistors for Neural Recording. Sensors 2017, 17, 705.

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