Room temperature multiplexed gas sensing using chemical-sensitive 3.5-nm-thin silicon transistors

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Science Advances  24 Mar 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 3, e1602557
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602557


There is great interest in developing a low-power gas sensing technology that can sensitively and selectively quantify the chemical composition of a target atmosphere. Nanomaterials have emerged as extremely promising candidates for this technology due to their inherent low-dimensional nature and high surface-to-volume ratio. Among these, nanoscale silicon is of great interest because pristine silicon is largely inert on its own in the context of gas sensing, unless functionalized with an appropriate gas-sensitive material. We report a chemical-sensitive field-effect transistor (CS-FET) platform based on 3.5-nm-thin silicon channel transistors. Using industry-compatible processing techniques, the conventional electrically active gate stack is replaced by an ultrathin chemical-sensitive layer that is electrically nonconducting and coupled to the 3.5-nm-thin silicon channel. We demonstrate a low-power, sensitive, and selective multiplexed gas sensing technology using this platform by detecting H2S, H2, and NO2 at room temperature for environment, health, and safety in the oil and gas industry, offering significant advantages over existing technology. Moreover, the system described here can be readily integrated with mobile electronics for distributed sensor networks in environmental pollution mapping and personal air-quality monitors.

  • Multi-gas sensors
  • sensitive
  • selective
  • low power
  • room-temperature
  • IoT
  • nanoscale
  • silicon

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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