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Carbon MEMS and NEMS for Sensor Applications

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2016) | Viewed by 24687

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Depmartment of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Department, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Integrated Nanofabrication Facility (INRF), University of California, Irvine, 4200 Engineering Gateway, Irvine, CA 92697-3975, USA
Interests: microfabrication; microfluidics; biosensors
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The underlying principle of C-MEMS/C-NEMS is to choose an easy-to-work-with polymer precursor, machine, or photo pattern this precursor material and then convert it to carbon by pyrolysis. The words MEMS and NEMS stand for Micro and Nano Electro Mechanical Systems, respectively. These used to be made almost exclusively from Si, but with C-MEMS/C-NEMS the 3D building materials are any of the many carbon allotropes instead. It can be argued that carbon, especially with the recent research efforts on CNTs and graphene, is becoming more and more important as a material in human technology. Neither single crystalline, nor poly-crystalline Si, encompass such a wide  range of shapes and microstructures. The idea is that C-MEMS/C-NEMS could eventually, depending on the manufacturing process, incorporate all of the carbon allotropes. In this more holistic view of a world with carbon as the most important technological material one tailors one allotrope or a combination of allotropes to suit each application. Some recent example C-MEMS/C-NEMS applications include electrochemical sensors, substrate for molecular electronics, batteries, fuel cells, dielectrophoresis electrodes, capacitors, scaffolds, nanorestrictions, hot nanowires for local CVD, molds for bulk metallic glasses, and gas sensors. In this Special Issue we will cover sensor applications of C-MEMS and C-NEMS.

Prof. Dr. Marc Madou
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • carbon
  • sensors
  • C-MEMS
  • C-NEMS
  • carbon allotropes
  • pyrolysis
  • microstructure

Published Papers (4 papers)

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2903 KiB  
Article
Graphene Nanogrids FET Immunosensor: Signal to Noise Ratio Enhancement
by Jayeeta Basu and Chirasree RoyChaudhuri
Sensors 2016, 16(10), 1481; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16101481 - 8 Oct 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 5427
Abstract
Recently, a reproducible and scalable chemical method for fabrication of smooth graphene nanogrids has been reported which addresses the challenges of graphene nanoribbons (GNR). These nanogrids have been found to be capable of attomolar detection of biomolecules in field effect transistor (FET) mode. [...] Read more.
Recently, a reproducible and scalable chemical method for fabrication of smooth graphene nanogrids has been reported which addresses the challenges of graphene nanoribbons (GNR). These nanogrids have been found to be capable of attomolar detection of biomolecules in field effect transistor (FET) mode. However, for detection of sub-femtomolar concentrations of target molecule in complex mixtures with reasonable accuracy, it is not sufficient to only explore the steady state sensitivities, but is also necessary to investigate the flicker noise which dominates at frequencies below 100 kHz. This low frequency noise is dependent on the exposure time of the graphene layer in the buffer solution and concentration of charged impurities at the surface. In this paper, the functionalization strategy of graphene nanogrids has been optimized with respect to concentration and incubation time of the cross linker for an enhancement in signal to noise ratio (SNR). It has been interestingly observed that as the sensitivity and noise power change at different rates with the functionalization parameters, SNR does not vary monotonically but is maximum corresponding to a particular parameter. The optimized parameter has improved the SNR by 50% which has enabled a detection of 0.05 fM Hep-B virus molecules with a sensitivity of around 30% and a standard deviation within 3%. Further, the SNR enhancement has resulted in improvement of quantification accuracy by five times and selectivity by two orders of magnitude. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon MEMS and NEMS for Sensor Applications)
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4266 KiB  
Article
Ultrasensitive, Label Free, Chemiresistive Nanobiosensor Using Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes Embedded Electrospun SU-8 Nanofibers
by Matta Durga Prakash, Siva Rama Krishna Vanjari, Chandra Shekhar Sharma and Shiv Govind Singh
Sensors 2016, 16(9), 1354; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16091354 - 23 Aug 2016
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 7477
Abstract
This paper reports the synthesis and fabrication of aligned electrospun nanofibers derived out of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) embedded SU-8 photoresist, which are targeted towards ultrasensitive biosensor applications. The ultrasensitivity (detection in the range of fg/mL) and the specificity of these biosensors were [...] Read more.
This paper reports the synthesis and fabrication of aligned electrospun nanofibers derived out of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) embedded SU-8 photoresist, which are targeted towards ultrasensitive biosensor applications. The ultrasensitivity (detection in the range of fg/mL) and the specificity of these biosensors were achieved by complementing the inherent advantages of MWCNTs such as high surface to volume ratio and excellent electrical and transduction properties with the ease of surface functionalization of SU-8. The electrospinning process was optimized to precisely align nanofibers in between two electrodes of a copper microelectrode array. MWCNTs not only enhance the conductivity of SU-8 nanofibers but also act as transduction elements. In this paper, MWCNTs were embedded way beyond the percolation threshold and the optimum percentage loading of MWCNTs for maximizing the conductivity of nanofibers was figured out experimentally. As a proof of concept, the detection of myoglobin, an important biomarker for on-set of Acute Myocardial Infection (AMI) has been demonstrated by functionalizing the nanofibers with anti-myoglobin antibodies and carrying out detection using a chemiresistive method. This simple and robust device yielded a detection limit of 6 fg/mL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon MEMS and NEMS for Sensor Applications)
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1901 KiB  
Article
Nanomechanical Pyrolytic Carbon Resonators: Novel Fabrication Method and Characterization of Mechanical Properties
by Maksymilian Kurek, Frederik K. Larsen, Peter E. Larsen, Silvan Schmid, Anja Boisen and Stephan S. Keller
Sensors 2016, 16(7), 1097; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16071097 - 15 Jul 2016
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5147
Abstract
Micro- and nanomechanical string resonators, which essentially are highly stressed bridges, are of particular interest for micro- and nanomechanical sensing because they exhibit resonant behavior with exceptionally high quality factors. Here, we fabricated and characterized nanomechanical pyrolytic carbon resonators (strings and cantilevers) obtained [...] Read more.
Micro- and nanomechanical string resonators, which essentially are highly stressed bridges, are of particular interest for micro- and nanomechanical sensing because they exhibit resonant behavior with exceptionally high quality factors. Here, we fabricated and characterized nanomechanical pyrolytic carbon resonators (strings and cantilevers) obtained through pyrolysis of photoresist precursors. The developed fabrication process consists of only three processing steps: photolithography, dry etching and pyrolysis. Two different fabrication strategies with two different photoresists, namely SU-8 2005 (negative) and AZ 5214e (positive), were compared. The resonant behavior of the pyrolytic resonators was characterized at room temperature and in high vacuum using a laser Doppler vibrometer. The experimental data was used to estimate the Young’s modulus of pyrolytic carbon and the tensile stress in the string resonators. The Young’s moduli were calculated to be 74 ± 8 GPa with SU-8 and 115 ± 8 GPa with AZ 5214e as the precursor. The tensile stress in the string resonators was 33 ± 7 MPa with AZ 5214e as the precursor. The string resonators displayed maximal quality factor values of up to 3000 for 525-µm-long structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon MEMS and NEMS for Sensor Applications)
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1815 KiB  
Article
A Unique Self-Sensing, Self-Actuating AFM Probe at Higher Eigenmodes
by Zhichao Wu, Tong Guo, Ran Tao, Leihua Liu, Jinping Chen, Xing Fu and Xiaotang Hu
Sensors 2015, 15(11), 28764-28771; https://doi.org/10.3390/s151128764 - 13 Nov 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 5837
Abstract
With its unique structure, the Akiyama probe is a type of tuning fork atomic force microscope probe. The long, soft cantilever makes it possible to measure soft samples in tapping mode. In this article, some characteristics of the probe at its second eigenmode [...] Read more.
With its unique structure, the Akiyama probe is a type of tuning fork atomic force microscope probe. The long, soft cantilever makes it possible to measure soft samples in tapping mode. In this article, some characteristics of the probe at its second eigenmode are revealed by use of finite element analysis (FEA) and experiments in a standard atmosphere. Although the signal-to-noise ratio in this environment is not good enough, the 2 nm resolution and 0.09 Hz/nm sensitivity prove that the Akiyama probe can be used at its second eigenmode under FM non-contact mode or low amplitude FM tapping mode, which means that it is easy to change the measuring method from normal tapping to small amplitude tapping or non-contact mode with the same probe and equipment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon MEMS and NEMS for Sensor Applications)
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