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Special Issue "Advanced Field-Effect Sensors"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Biosensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 August 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Antonio Di Bartolomeo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Physics Department, University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy
Interests: optical and electrical properties of nanostructured materials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and 2D materials; van der Waals heterostructures and Schottky junctions; field-effect transistors; non-volatile memories; solar cells; photodetectors; field emission devices
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sensor devices based on the field-effect principle have been used for more than fifty years in a variety of applications ranging from bio-chemical sensing to radiation detection or environmental parameters monitoring. The basic working principle of field-effect sensors is the same as that of field-effect transistors (FETs), in which the conductance between two electrodes (source and drain) is controlled by the electric field generated by a gate.

Field-effect biochemical sensors have found increasing applications for pH and molecular or DNA sensing since the proposal of the ion-sensitive field-effect transistor (ISFET) by Bergerveld in 1968.

Field-effect devices have been extensively exploited for gas and pressure sensing. Photo-FETs are popular light intensity sensors. FETs, both the junction (JFET) and metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOSFET) type, are widely used as photodetectors and ionizing radiation detectors or dosimeters in radioprotection, radiotherapy, medicine, and dentistry.

FETs enable sensitive temperature sensors and piezoelectric strain gauges.

The advent of nanostructured materials in the past three decades has created opportunities to integrate new sensing materials or develop innovative architectures in field-effect-based sensors. The optimization of existing devices, research on new field-effect structures and fabrication techniques, and the design of novel electronic systems for signal amplification and processing are currently underway.

A great advantage of field-effect sensors is that they provide intrinsic signal amplification and can be integrated with the electronics needed for the sensor signal processing on the same semiconductor chip. Moreover, field-effect sensors feature high sensitivity, low-cost, and miniaturization.

Field-effect based sensing offers several challenges stemming from the highly interdisciplinary nature of the problems encountered, in which knowledge of material science, surface chemistry and physics, biomolecular kinetics, electronic engineering, etc. are required.

This Special Issue will present recent progress in the fabrication, design, understanding, and utilization of field-effect sensors for any applications.

The Special Issues will collect research papers reporting novel experimental, theoretical, or simulation results dealing with field-effect sensors. Review articles that offer comprehensive coverage of specific aspects or new insights and perspectives are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Antonio Bartolomeo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Potentiometric sensors
  • Floating gate, extended-gate, and dual-gate FET sensors
  • Bio-chemical sensors
  • pH sensing
  • ISFET, EISFET, affinity-based FET
  • Chemical field-effect transistor, ChemFET
  • Biomolecular sensing, BioFET
  • DNA FET
  • Immunologically modified FET, IMFET
  • Gas sensors, gasFET
  • Photodetectors, Photo-FET
  • Radiation sensitive FETs, RADFET
  • FET dosimeters
  • Pressure field-effect sensors
  • Temperature field-effect sensors
  • Field-effect strain sensors
  • Nanomaterials in field-effect sensors
  • Nanowire field-effect sensors
  • 2D-material field-effect sensors
  • Graphene field-effect sensors
  • Signal amplification
  • Sensor signal processing

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Electronic Sensing Platform (ESP) Based on Open-Gate Junction Field-Effect Transistor (OG-JFET) for Life Science Applications: Design, Modeling and Experimental Results
Sensors 2021, 21(22), 7491; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21227491 - 11 Nov 2021
Viewed by 275
Abstract
This paper presents a new field-effect sensor called open-gate junction gate field-effect transistor (OG-JFET) for biosensing applications. The OG-JFET consists of a p-type channel on top of an n-type layer in which the p-type serves as the sensing conductive layer between two ohmic [...] Read more.
This paper presents a new field-effect sensor called open-gate junction gate field-effect transistor (OG-JFET) for biosensing applications. The OG-JFET consists of a p-type channel on top of an n-type layer in which the p-type serves as the sensing conductive layer between two ohmic contacted sources and drain electrodes. The structure is novel as it is based on a junction field-effect transistor with a subtle difference in that the top gate (n-type contact) has been removed to open the space for introducing the biomaterial and solution. The channel can be controlled through a back gate, enabling the sensor’s operation without a bulky electrode inside the solution. In this research, in order to demonstrate the sensor’s functionality for chemical and biosensing, we tested OG-JFET with varying pH solutions, cell adhesion (human oral neutrophils), human exhalation, and DNA molecules. Moreover, the sensor was simulated with COMSOL Multiphysics to gain insight into the sensor operation and its ion-sensitive capability. The complete simulation procedures and the physics of pH modeling is presented here, being numerically solved in COMSOL Multiphysics software. The outcome of the current study puts forward OG-JFET as a new platform for biosensing applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Field-Effect Sensors)
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Article
Parallel Potentiometric and Capacitive Response in a Water-Gate Thin Film Transistor Biosensor at High Ionic Strength
Sensors 2021, 21(16), 5618; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21165618 - 20 Aug 2021
Viewed by 513
Abstract
We show that an SnO2-based water-gate thin film transistor (WGTFT) biosensor responds to a waterborne analyte, the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, by a parallel potentiometric and capacitive mechanism. We draw our conclusion from an analysis of transistor output characteristics, [...] Read more.
We show that an SnO2-based water-gate thin film transistor (WGTFT) biosensor responds to a waterborne analyte, the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, by a parallel potentiometric and capacitive mechanism. We draw our conclusion from an analysis of transistor output characteristics, which avoids the known ambiguities of the common analysis based on transfer characteristics. Our findings contrast with reports on organic WGTFT biosensors claiming a purely capacitive response due to screening effects in high ionic strength electrolytes, but are consistent with prior work that clearly shows a potentiometric response even in strong electrolytes. We provide a detailed critique of prior WGTFT analysis and screening reasoning. Empirically, both potentiometric and capacitive responses can be modelled quantitatively by a Langmuir‒Freundlich (LF) law, which is mathematically equivalent to the Hill equation that is frequently used for biosensor response characteristics. However, potentiometric and capacitive model parameters disagree. Instead, the potentiometric response follows the Nikolsky-Eisenman law, treating the analyte ‘RBD spike protein’ as an ion carrying two elementary charges. These insights are uniquely possible thanks to the parallel presence of two response mechanisms, as well as their reliable delineation, as presented here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Field-Effect Sensors)
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Article
Highly Sensitive and Transparent Urea-EnFET Based Point-of-Care Diagnostic Test Sensor with a Triple-Gate a-IGZO TFT
Sensors 2021, 21(14), 4748; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21144748 - 12 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 569
Abstract
In this study, we propose a highly sensitive transparent urea enzymatic field-effect transistor (EnFET) point-of-care (POC) diagnostic test sensor using a triple-gate amorphous indium gallium zinc oxide (a-IGZO) thin-film pH ion-sensitive field-effect transistor (ISFET). The EnFET sensor consists of a urease-immobilized tin-dioxide (SnO [...] Read more.
In this study, we propose a highly sensitive transparent urea enzymatic field-effect transistor (EnFET) point-of-care (POC) diagnostic test sensor using a triple-gate amorphous indium gallium zinc oxide (a-IGZO) thin-film pH ion-sensitive field-effect transistor (ISFET). The EnFET sensor consists of a urease-immobilized tin-dioxide (SnO2) sensing membrane extended gate (EG) and an a-IGZO thin film transistor (TFT), which acts as the detector and transducer, respectively. To enhance the urea sensitivity, we designed a triple-gate a-IGZO TFT transducer with a top gate (TG) at the top of the channel, a bottom gate (BG) at the bottom of the channel, and a side gate (SG) on the side of the channel. By using capacitive coupling between these gates, an extremely high urea sensitivity of 3632.1 mV/pUrea was accomplished in the range of pUrea 2 to 3.5; this is 50 times greater than the sensitivities observed in prior works. High urea sensitivity and reliability were even obtained in the low pUrea (0.5 to 2) and high pUrea (3.5 to 5) ranges. The proposed urea-EnFET sensor with a triple-gate a-IGZO TFT is therefore expected to be useful for POC diagnostic tests that require high sensitivity and high reliability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Field-Effect Sensors)
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Article
Highly Sensitive Magnesium-Doped ZnO Nanorod pH Sensors Based on Electrolyte–Insulator–Semiconductor (EIS) Sensors
Sensors 2021, 21(6), 2110; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21062110 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 773
Abstract
For highly sensitive pH sensing, an electrolyte insulator semiconductor (EIS) device, based on ZnO nanorod-sensing membrane layers doped with magnesium, was proposed. ZnO nanorod samples prepared via a hydrothermal process with different Mg molar ratios (0–5%) were characterized to explore the impact of [...] Read more.
For highly sensitive pH sensing, an electrolyte insulator semiconductor (EIS) device, based on ZnO nanorod-sensing membrane layers doped with magnesium, was proposed. ZnO nanorod samples prepared via a hydrothermal process with different Mg molar ratios (0–5%) were characterized to explore the impact of magnesium content on the structural and optical characteristics and sensing performance by X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and photoluminescence (PL). The results indicated that the ZnO nanorods doped with 3% Mg had a high hydrogen ion sensitivity (83.77 mV/pH), linearity (96.06%), hysteresis (3 mV), and drift (0.218 mV/h) due to the improved crystalline quality and the surface hydroxyl group role of ZnO. In addition, the detection characteristics varied with the doping concentration and were suitable for developing biomedical detection applications with different detection elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Field-Effect Sensors)
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Article
A Graphene-Based Enzymatic Biosensor Using a Common-Gate Field-Effect Transistor for L-Lactic Acid Detection in Blood Plasma Samples
Sensors 2021, 21(5), 1852; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21051852 - 06 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Lactate is an important organic molecule that is produced in excess during anaerobic metabolism when oxygen is absent in the human organism. The concentration of this substance in the body can be related to several medical conditions, such as hemorrhage, respiratory failure, and [...] Read more.
Lactate is an important organic molecule that is produced in excess during anaerobic metabolism when oxygen is absent in the human organism. The concentration of this substance in the body can be related to several medical conditions, such as hemorrhage, respiratory failure, and ischemia. Herein, we describe a graphene-based lactate biosensor to detect the concentrations of L-lactic acid in different fluids (buffer solution and plasma). The active surface (graphene) of the device was functionalized with lactate dehydrogenase enzyme using different substances (Nafion, chitosan, and glutaraldehyde) to guarantee stability and increase selectivity. The devices presented linear responses for the concentration ranges tested in the different fluids. An interference study was performed using ascorbic acid, uric acid, and glucose, and there was a minimum variation in the Dirac point voltage during detection of lactate in any of the samples. The stability of the devices was verified at up to 50 days while kept in a dry box at room temperature, and device operation was stable until 12 days. This study demonstrated graphene performance to monitor L-lactic acid production in human samples, indicating that this material can be implemented in more simple and low-cost devices, such as flexible sensors, for point-of-care applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Field-Effect Sensors)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Highly sensitive and transparent urea-EnFET based point-of-care diagnostic test sensors using triple gate a-IGZO ISFETs
Authors: Won-Ju Cho
Affiliation: Kwangwoon Universitydisabled, Seoul, South Korea
Abstract: In this study, we propose a highly sensitive and transparent urea-enzymatic field effect transistor (EnFET) point-of-care (POC) diagnostic test sensor using a triple gate amorphous indium gallium zinc oxide (a-IGZO) pH-ion-sensitive field-effect transistor. The EnFET sensor consists of a urease immobilized tin-dioxide (SnO2) sensing membrane extended gate (EG) and an a-IGZO thin film transistor (TFT), which act as the detector and transducer, respectively. In particular, to enhance sensitivity to urea, we designed a triple gate a-IGZO TFT transducer with a top gate at the top of the channel, a bottom gate at the bottom of the channel, and a side gate at the side of the channel. Using capacitive coupling between these triple gates, an extremely high urea sensitivity of 3632.1 mV/pUrea was accomplished in the range of pUrea 2 to 3.5; this is 50 times greater than the sen-sitivities observed in prior work. In addition, high urea sensitivity and reliability were obtained even in the low pUrea (0.5 to 2) range and high pUrea (3.5 to 5) range. Therefore, the proposed urea-EnFET sensor with triple gate a-IGZO TFT and urease immobilized SnO2 EG is expected to be useful for POC diagnostic tests requiring high sensitivity and high reliability.

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