Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Develop Selective Sensors Based On Carbon Nanotubes

Date:
September 13, 2006
Source:
Arizona State University
Summary:
A team of researchers from Arizona State University and Motorola Labs has developed sensors based on carbon nanotubes, microscopically small structures that posses excellent electronic properties. In early tests, the new devices detected the presence of heavy metal ions in water down to parts per trillion levels.

A team of researchers from Arizona State University and Motorola Labs, the applied research arm of Motorola Inc., has developed sensors based on carbon nanotubes, microscopically small structures that posses excellent electronic properties. In early tests, the new devices detected the presence of heavy metal ions in water down to parts per trillion levels.

Specifically, the researchers developed a method for applying peptides to single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) in field effect transistors.

"This is a fairly general sensor platform for all kinds of applications," said Nongjian Tao, an electrical engineering professor at Arizona State University and one of the researchers on the project. "We tested heavy metal ions in water, but the platform can be applied to many other areas to sense toxic chemicals in the air, or they can be used as biosensors when applied to medicine."

"Integration of nanosensors into devices and sensor networks will enable the detection of biological and chemical agents at very low concentrations, which could be vital in the areas of public safety and homeland security," added Vida Ilderem, vice president of the Embedded Systems Research Labs at Motorola, Tempe, Ariz.

The researchers report the advance in a paper, "Tuning the chemical selectivity of SWNT-FETs for detection of heavy metal ions," which will be published in the journal Small.

"Our sensor is based on the novel properties of peptides and carbon nanotubes," Tao explained. "Peptides can be used to recognize and detect various chemical species with high sensitivity and selectivity while carbon nanotubes are well known for their electronic properties."

The peptides are made of 20 or so amino acids, so changing the sequence of amino acids allows the researchers to "tune the peptides and recognize different compounds," Tao said. "We developed a simple way to attach different peptides to different nanotubes."

Erica Forzani, an ASU assistant research professor in electrical engineering, said the peptides are selective to specific compounds. In the heavy metal tests, the researchers developed a peptide to detect nickel and one to detect copper. If the nickel peptide were used, it would only detect the presence of nickel and be "blind" to any other heavy metal ion (copper, lead or zinc) passing over the carbon nanotubes.

Tao added it's the combination of the structure of the nanotubes and the selectivity of the peptides that make the devices so powerful.

"The nanotubes basically are a sheet of interconnected atoms rolled into a tube," Tao said. "Every single atom in the tube is exposed to the environment and can interact with chemicals and molecules. That is why it is so sensitive. But without the peptides, it would not recognize specific compounds."

"The potential for the carbon nanotubes is extraordinary," Forzani added, "because with a very simple device that does not require sophisticated electronic circuitry, you can detect very low concentrations of analytes."

The researchers now will investigate the use of the sensors on biological molecules, like RNA sequence detection, Tao and Forzani said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Arizona State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Arizona State University. "Researchers Develop Selective Sensors Based On Carbon Nanotubes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060913185654.htm>.
Arizona State University. (2006, September 13). Researchers Develop Selective Sensors Based On Carbon Nanotubes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060913185654.htm
Arizona State University. "Researchers Develop Selective Sensors Based On Carbon Nanotubes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060913185654.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) U.S. firms worry they’re falling behind in the marketplace as the FAA considers how to regulate commercial drones. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) Winners of a contest for smart gun design are asking not to be named after others in the industry received threats for marketing similar products. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Have Captured The Sound Of An Atom

Scientists Have Captured The Sound Of An Atom

Newsy (Sep. 12, 2014) Scientists have captured the sound of a single atom by measuring its vibrations. We can't hear it, but it's reportedly the faintest sound possible. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Flare Surges Off Sun

Solar Flare Surges Off Sun

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 11, 2014) NASA captures video of a significant flare surging off the sun. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins