Navigation Links
Imperfections may improve graphene sensors

Although they found that graphene makes very good chemical sensors, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered an unexpected "twist"that the sensors are better when the graphene is "worse"more imperfections improved performance.

"This is quite the opposite of what you would want for transistors, for example," explained Eric Pop, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and a member of the interdisciplinary research team. "Finding that the less perfect they were, the better they worked, was counter intuitive at first."

The research group, which includes researchers from both chemical engineering and electrical engineering, and from a startup company, Dioxide Materials, reported their results in the November 23, 2011 issue of Advanced Materials.

"The objective of this work was to understand what limits the sensitivity of simple, two-terminal graphene chemiresistors, and to study this in the context of inexpensive devices easily manufactured by chemical vapor deposition (CVD)," stated lead authors Amin Salehi-Khojin and David Estrada.

The researchers found that the response of graphene chemiresistors depends on the types and geometry of their defects.

"Nearly-pristine graphene chemiresistors are less sensitive to analyte molecules because adsorbates bind to point defects, which have low resistance pathways around them," noted Salehi-Khojin, a research scientist at Dioxide Materials and post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChemE) at Illinois. "As a result, adsorption at point defects only has a small effect on the overall resistance of the device. On the other hand, micrometer-sized line defects or continuous lines of point defects are different because no easy conduction paths exist around such defects, so the resistance change after adsorption is significant."

"This can lead to better and cheaper gas sensors for a variety of applications such as energy, homeland security and medical diagnostics" said Estrada who is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

According to the authors, the two-dimensional nature of defective, CVD-grown graphene chemiresistors causes them to behave differently than carbon nanotube chemiresistors. This sensitivity is further improved by cutting the graphene into ribbons of width comparable to the line defect dimensions, or micrometers in this study.

"What we determined is that the gases we were sensing tend to bind to the defects," Pop said. "Surface defects in graphene are either point-, wrinkle-, or line-like. We found that the points do not matter very much and the lines are most likely where the sensing happens."

"The graphene ribbons with line defects appear to offer superior performance as graphene sensors," said ChemE professor emeritus and Dioxide Materials CEO Richard Masel. "Going forward, we think we may be able engineer the line defects to maximize the material's sensitivity. This novel approach should allow us to produce inexpensive and sensitive chemical sensors with the performance better than that of carbon nanotube sensors."


Contact: Eric Pop
University of Illinois College of Engineering

Related biology technology :

1. Arizona State University engineers aim to improve performance of technology in extreme environments
2. "Tomorrows Health" TV Series Showing the Life Science Industrys Quest to Save and Improve Lives, to Air on Select NBC Stations
3. Zinc oxide microwires improve the performance of light-emitting diodes
4. Amarillo Biosciences Teams with Animal Shelters to Improve Health and Enhance Immunity of Cats and Dogs
5. Circassias Hay Fever Treatment Improves Patients Allergy Symptoms in Phase II Clinical Trial
6. U of T-led research improves performance of next-generation solar cell technology
7. Powered by seaweed: Polymer from algae may improve battery performance
8. New Study Finds Cord Blood-derived Stem Cell Treatments Improve Ataxia Patients Functionality and Quality of Life
9. Crucial Directives Must be Revised to Protect Patients Interests and Improve Access to Treatment
10. Swedish University Hospital Improves Monitoring of Treatment Efficacy in Multiple Sclerosis With Synthetic MRI Innovation
11. Nanowire-based sensors offer improved detection of volatile organic compounds
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... CHESHAM , England , November 26, ... Lightpoint Medical, an innovative medical device company specializing in ... Euro grant from the European Commission as part of the ... enabling the company to carry out a large-scale clinical trial ... -->      (Logo: , ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Studies reveal the differences in species of ... way for more effective treatment for one of the most ... --> --> Gum disease is ... yet relatively little was understood about the bacteria associated with ... by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition together ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing ... AMA team leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia , Nov. 24, 2015 ... the global contract research organisation (CRO) market. The ... to result in lower margins but higher volume ... With increased capacity and scale, however, margins in ... Contract Research Organisation (CRO) Market ( ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/12/2015)...   Growing need for low-cost, easy to ... paving the way for use of biochemical sensors ... in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and defense applications. ... medical applications, however, their adoption is increasing in ... emphasis on improving product quality and growing need ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... , Nov. 09, 2015 ... the addition of the "Global Law ... their offering. --> ) ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) has ...
(Date:10/29/2015)...   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical ... research, is pleased to announce that it has been ... one of only three finalists for a 2015 ... Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... innovation and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):