Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Motorola researchers develop selective sensors based on carbon nanotubes

15.09.2006
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. An early view of the article is available at the journal's web site (www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jissue/109627347).

"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.

Skip Derra | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asu.edu

Further reports about: Carbon Motorola Nanotubes Researchers Tao amino acid carbon nanotubes

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers target protein that protects bacteria's DNA 'recipes'
21.08.2018 | University of Rochester

nachricht Protein interaction helps Yersinia cause disease
21.08.2018 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Air pollution leads to cardiovascular diseases

21.08.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Researchers target protein that protects bacteria's DNA 'recipes'

21.08.2018 | Life Sciences

A paper battery powered by bacteria

21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>