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The Effect of Hydrophobin Protein on Conductive Properties of Carbon Nanotube Field-Effect Transistors: First Study on Sensing Mechanism

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Hydrophobin is a surface active protein having both hydrophobic and hydrophilic functional domains which has previously been used for functionalization and solubilization of graphene and carbon nanotubes. In this work, field-effect transistors based on single nanotubes have been employed for electronic detection of hydrophobin protein in phosphate buffer solution. Individual nanotubes, single- and multiwalled, are characterized by atomic force microscopy after being immersed in protein solution, showing a relatively dense coverage with hydrophobin. We have studied aspects such as nanotube length (0.3–1.2 μm) and the hysteresis effect in the gate voltage dependent conduction. When measured in ambient condition after the exposure to hydrophobin, the resistance increase has a strong dependence on the nanotube length, which we ascribe to mobility degradation and localization effects. The change could be exceptionally large when measured in-situ in solution and at suitable gate voltage conditions, which is shown to relate to the different mechanism behind the hysteresis effect.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2015

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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