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Sensors 2016, 16(12), 2034;

A Multipurpose CMOS Platform for Nanosensing

Center for Sustainables Futures@PoliTo, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Trento 21, 10129 Torino, Italy
Electronics Design Laboratory (EDL), Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Melen 83b, 16152 Genova, Italy
CNR-IMEM, Parco Area delle Scienze 37, 43124 Parma, Italy
Department of Electronics and Telecommunication, Politecnico di Torino, Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
χ-Lab Materials and Microsystems Laboratory, DISAT, Politecnico di Torino, Via Lungo Piazza d’Armi 6, 10034 Chivasso, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Stefan Bosse, Ansgar Trächtler, Klaus-Dieter Thoben, Berend Denkena and Dirk Lehmhus
Received: 23 September 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue System-Integrated Intelligence and Intelligent Systems)
Full-Text   |   PDF [12026 KB, uploaded 30 November 2016]   |  


This paper presents a customizable sensing system based on functionalized nanowires (NWs) assembled onto complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology. The Micro-for-Nano (M4N) chip integrates on top of the electronics an array of aluminum microelectrodes covered with gold by means of a customized electroless plating process. The NW assembly process is driven by an array of on-chip dielectrophoresis (DEP) generators, enabling a custom layout of different nanosensors on the same microelectrode array. The electrical properties of each assembled NW are singularly sensed through an in situ CMOS read-out circuit (ROC) that guarantees a low noise and reliable measurement. The M4N chip is directly connected to an external microcontroller for configuration and data processing. The processed data are then redirected to a workstation for real-time data visualization and storage during sensing experiments. As proof of concept, ZnO nanowires have been integrated onto the M4N chip to validate the approach that enables different kind of sensing experiments. The device has been then irradiated by an external UV source with adjustable power to measure the ZnO sensitivity to UV-light exposure. A maximum variation of about 80% of the ZnO-NW resistance has been detected by the M4N system when the assembled 5 μ m × 500 nm single ZnO-NW is exposed to an estimated incident radiant UV-light flux in the range of 1 nW–229 nW. The performed experiments prove the efficiency of the platform conceived for exploiting any kind of material that can change its capacitance and/or resistance due to an external stimulus. View Full-Text
Keywords: CMOS interface; multipurpose sensing platform; CMOS post-processing; nanowires; nanosenors CMOS interface; multipurpose sensing platform; CMOS post-processing; nanowires; nanosenors

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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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Bonanno, A.; Sanginario, A.; Marasso, S.L.; Miccoli, B.; Bejtka, K.; Benetto, S.; Demarchi, D. A Multipurpose CMOS Platform for Nanosensing. Sensors 2016, 16, 2034.

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