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Tuning the functional interface of carbon nanotubes by electrochemistry: Toward nanoscale chemical sensors and biosensors

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 January 2012

Kannan Balasubramanian*
Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research, D70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Tetiana Kurkina
Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research, D70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Ashraf Ahmad
Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research, D70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Marko Burghard
Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research, D70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Klaus Kern
Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research, D70569 Stuttgart, Germany
a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail:
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The ability to tune the functional interface of single-walled carbon nanotubes in a versatile manner is key to the success of deploying them as an active material in chemical and biological sensors. Here we present an overview of our device strategies demonstrating the use of controlled electrochemical functionalization to tune this interface by bringing in different functionalities ranging from metallic nanoparticles to biomolecules onto the nanotube surface. The extent of such a functionalization is tunable, providing us with a good control over sensitivity, selectivity, and detection limit of the realized sensors. Moreover, the sensor mechanisms have been analyzed. Taken together the methods and results outlined here constitute a general framework for the rational design of nanoscale field-effect-based chemical sensors and biosensors.

Invited Feature Paper
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2011

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