Next Article in Journal
A Reusable Impedimetric Aptasensor for Detection of Thrombin Employing a Graphite-Epoxy Composite Electrode
Next Article in Special Issue
TiO2 Nanotube Array Sensor for Detecting the SF6 Decomposition Product SO2
Previous Article in Journal
Ranging in an Underwater Medium with Multiple Isogradient Sound Speed Profile Layers
Previous Article in Special Issue
Metal Oxide Nanostructures and Their Gas Sensing Properties: A Review
Open AccessReview

Size Matters: Problems and Advantages Associated with Highly Miniaturized Sensors

Division of Bionanophotonics, Department of Applied Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Fysikgränd 3, 41296 Göteborg, Sweden
Sensors 2012, 12(3), 3018-3036;
Received: 20 January 2012 / Revised: 23 February 2012 / Accepted: 23 February 2012 / Published: 6 March 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing at the Nano-Scale: Chemical and Bio-Sensing)
There is no doubt that the recent advances in nanotechnology have made it possible to realize a great variety of new sensors with signal transduction mechanisms utilizing physical phenomena at the nanoscale. Some examples are conductivity measurements in nanowires, deflection of cantilevers and spectroscopy of plasmonic nanoparticles. The fact that these techniques are based on the special properties of nanostructural entities provides for extreme sensor miniaturization since a single structural unit often can be used as transducer. This review discusses the advantages and problems with such small sensors, with focus on biosensing applications and label-free real-time analysis of liquid samples. Many aspects of sensor design are considered, such as thermodynamic and diffusion aspects on binding kinetics as well as multiplexing and noise issues. Still, all issues discussed are generic in the sense that the conclusions apply to practically all types of surface sensitive techniques. As a counterweight to the current research trend, it is argued that in many real world applications, better performance is achieved if the active sensor is larger than that in typical nanosensors. Although there are certain specific sensing applications where nanoscale transducers are necessary, it is argued herein that this represents a relatively rare situation. Instead, it is suggested that sensing on the microscale often offers a good compromise between utilizing some possible advantages of miniaturization while avoiding the complications. This means that ensemble measurements on multiple nanoscale sensors are preferable instead of utilizing a single transducer entity. View Full-Text
Keywords: sensor; biosensor; size; miniaturization; surface; nano; micro sensor; biosensor; size; miniaturization; surface; nano; micro
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Dahlin, A.B. Size Matters: Problems and Advantages Associated with Highly Miniaturized Sensors. Sensors 2012, 12, 3018-3036.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Only visits after 24 November 2015 are recorded.
Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop