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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.
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17040705
Received: 17 January 2017 / Revised: 8 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors)
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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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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