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Detection of Small Molecule-Protein Binding with Amorphous Silicon Nanostructures

J. Lund, R. Mehta and B. Parviz
University of Washington, US

Keywords:
biotin, streptavidin, detection, nanowire, silicon, semicircle

Abstract:
We present the fabrication and characterization of a nano-scale sensor made of amorphous silicon (a-Si) for electronic detection of small molecule –protein binding. The main component of the detector is a nano-scale a-Si semicircle with a surface functionalized with receptor molecules. Upon exposure, target molecules bind to these receptors and effectively change the surface dipole moment of the semicircle. This change of dipole moment in turn bends the semiconductor bands at the surface resulting in a change in charge carrier density. Due to the extremely small cross section of the conductive path (50 nm x 50 nm), changes close to the surface significantly affect the apparent conduction in the semicircle and can be monitored electronically to determine the occurrence of molecular binding events.

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