DNA-decorated carbon nanotubes for chemical sensing

Cristian Staii, Alan T. Johnson, Michelle Chen, Alan Gelperin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

444 Scopus citations


We demonstrate a new, versatile class of nanoscale chemical sensors based on single-stranded DNA (ss-DNA) as the chemical recognition site and single-walled carbon nanotube field effect transistors (swCN-FETs) as the electronic read-out component. swCN-FETs with a nanoscale coating of ss-DNA respond to gas odors that do not cause a detectable conductivity change in bare devices. Responses of ss-DNA/swCN-FETs differ in sign and magnitude for different gases and can be tuned by choosing the base sequence of the ss-DNA. ss-DNA/swCN-FET sensors detect a variety of odors, with rapid response and recovery times on the scale of seconds. The sensor surface is self-regenerating: samples maintain a constant response with no need for sensor refreshing through at least 50 gas exposure cycles. This remarkable set of attributes makes sensors based on ss-DNA decorated nanotubes very promising for "electronic nose" and "electronic tongue" applications ranging from homeland security to disease diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1774-1778
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • General Materials Science


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