Sensitivity limits and scaling of bioelectronic graphene transducers.

TitleSensitivity limits and scaling of bioelectronic graphene transducers.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsCheng Z, Hou J, Zhou Q, Li T, Li H, Yang L, Jiang K, Wang C, Li Y, Fang Y
JournalNano letters
Date Published2013 Jun 12

Semiconducting nanomaterials are being intensively studied as active elements in bioelectronic devices, with the aim of improving spatial resolution. Yet, the consequences of size-reduction on fundamental noise limits, or minimum resolvable signals, and their impact on device design considerations have not been defined. Here, we address these key issues by quantifying the size-dependent performance and limiting factors of graphene (Gra) transducers under physiological conditions. We show that suspended Gra devices represent the optimal configuration for cardiac extracellular electrophysiology in terms of both transducer sensitivity, systematically ~5× higher than substrate-supported devices, and forming tight bioelectronic interfaces. Significantly, noise measurements on free-standing Gra together with theoretical calculations yield a direct relationship between low-frequency 1/f noise and water dipole-induced disorders, which sets fundamental sensitivity limits for Gra devices in physiological media. As a consequence, a square-root-of-area scaling of Gra transducer sensitivity was experimentally revealed to provide a critical design rule for their implementation in bioelectronics.

Alternate JournalNano Lett.