Recently, the hydrogen gas sensing properties of semiconductor oxide (SMO) nanostructures have been widely investigated. In this article, we provide a comprehensive review of the research progress in the last five years concerning hydrogen gas sensors based on SMO thin film and one-dimensional (1D) nanostructures. The hydrogen sensing mechanism of SMO nanostructures and some critical issues are discussed. Doping, noble metal-decoration, heterojunctions and size reduction have been investigated and proved to be effective methods for improving the sensing performance of SMO thin films and 1D nanostructures. The effect on the hydrogen response of SMO thin films and 1D nanostructures of grain boundary and crystal orientation, as well as the sensor architecture, including electrode size and nanojunctions have also been studied. Finally, we also discuss some challenges for the future applications of SMO nanostructured hydrogen sensors.
hydrogen gas sensor; semiconductor oxides; nanostructure; thin films; one-dimensional nanostructures
Recently one dimensional (1-D) nanostructured metal-oxides have attracted much attention because of their potential applications in gas sensors. 1-D nanostructured metal-oxides provide high surface to volume ratio, while maintaining good chemical and thermal stabilities with minimal power consumption and low weight. In recent years, various processing routes have been developed for the synthesis of 1-D nanostructured metal-oxides such as hydrothermal, ultrasonic irradiation, electrospinning, anodization, sol-gel, molten-salt, carbothermal reduction, solid-state chemical reaction, thermal evaporation, vapor-phase transport, aerosol, RF sputtering, molecular beam epitaxy, chemical vapor deposition, gas-phase assisted nanocarving, UV lithography and dry plasma etching. A variety of sensor fabrication processing routes have also been developed. Depending on the materials, morphology and fabrication process the performance of the sensor towards a specific gas shows a varying degree of success. This article reviews and evaluates the performance of 1-D nanostructured metal-oxide gas sensors based on ZnO, SnO2, TiO2, In2O3, WOx, AgVO3, CdO, MoO3, CuO, TeO2 and Fe2O3. Advantages and disadvantages of each sensor are summarized, along with the associated sensing mechanism. Finally, the article concludes with some future directions of research.
gas sensor; one dimensional nanostructures; metal-oxides
This article provides a comprehensive review of recent (2008 and 2009) progress in gas sensors based on semiconducting metal oxide one-dimensional (1D) nanostructures. During last few years, gas sensors based on semiconducting oxide 1D nanostructures have been widely investigated. Additionally, modified or doped oxide nanowires/nanobelts have also been synthesized and used for gas sensor applications. Moreover, novel device structures such as electronic noses and low power consumption self-heated gas sensors have been invented and their gas sensing performance has also been evaluated. Finally, we also point out some challenges for future investigation and practical application.
gas sensors; semiconducting oxides; one-dimensional nanostructures
Palladium (Pd) has received attention as an ideal hydrogen sensor material due to its properties such as high sensitivity and selectivity to hydrogen gas, fast response, and operability at room temperature. Interestingly, various Pd nanostructures that have been realized by recent developments in nanotechnologies are known to show better performance than bulk Pd. This review highlights the characteristic properties, issues, and their possible solutions of hydrogen sensors based on the low-dimensional Pd nanostructures with more emphasis on Pd thin films and Pd nanowires. The finite size effects, relative strengths and weaknesses of the respective Pd nanostructures are discussed in terms of performance, manufacturability, and practical applicability.
Pd nanostructures; hydrogen sensors
Nanostructured materials are promising compounds that offer new opportunities as sensing platforms for the detection of biomolecules. Having micrometer-scale length and nanometer-scale diameters, nanomaterials can be manipulated with current nanofabrication methods, as well as self-assembly techniques, to fabricate nanoscale bio-sensing devices. Nanostructured materials possess extraordinary physical, mechanical, electrical, thermal and multifunctional properties. Such unique properties advocate their use as biomimetic membranes to immobilize and modify biomolecules on the surface of nanoparticles. Alignment, uniform dispersion, selective growth and diameter control are general parameters which play critical roles in the successful integration of nanostructures for the fabrication of bioelectronic sensing devices. In this review, we focus on different types and aspects of nanomaterials, including their synthesis, properties, conjugation with biomolecules and their application in the construction of immunosensing devices. Some key results from each cited article are summarized by relating the concept and mechanism behind each sensor, experimental conditions and the behavior of the sensor under different conditions, etc. The variety of nanomaterial-based bioelectronic devices exhibiting novel functions proves the unique properties of nanomaterials in such sensing devices, which will surely continue to expand in the future. Such nanomaterial based devices are expected to have a major impact in clinical immunodiagnostics, environmental monitoring, security surveillance and for ensuring food safety.
nanotechnology; antibody; antigen; nanomaterials; immune-biosensors
Organic nanostructures made from organic molecules such as para-hexaphenylene (p-6P) could form nanoscale components in future electronic and optoelectronic devices. However, the integration of such fragile nanostructures with the necessary interface circuitry such as metal electrodes for electrical connection continues to be a significant hindrance toward their large-scale implementation. Here, we demonstrate in situ–directed growth of such organic nanostructures between pre-fabricated contacts, which are source–drain gold electrodes on a transistor platform (bottom-gate) on silicon dioxide patterned by a combination of optical lithography and electron beam lithography. The dimensions of the gold electrodes strongly influence the morphology of the resulting structures leading to notably different electrical properties. The ability to control such nanofiber or nanoflake growth opens the possibility for large-scale optoelectronic device fabrication.
Organic semiconductors; In situ growth; Organic nanofibers
One-dimensional (1D) metal-oxide nanostructures are ideal systems for exploring a large number of novel phenomena at the nanoscale and investigating size and dimensionality dependence of nanostructure properties for potential applications. The construction and integration of photodetectors or optical switches based on such nanostructures with tailored geometries have rapidly advanced in recent years. Active 1D nanostructure photodetector elements can be configured either as resistors whose conductions are altered by a charge-transfer process or as field-effect transistors (FET) whose properties can be controlled by applying appropriate potentials onto the gates. Functionalizing the structure surfaces offers another avenue for expanding the sensor capabilities. This article provides a comprehensive review on the state-of-the-art research activities in the photodetector field. It mainly focuses on the metal oxide 1D nanostructures such as ZnO, SnO2, Cu2O, Ga2O3, Fe2O3, In2O3, CdO, CeO2, and their photoresponses. The review begins with a survey of quasi 1D metal-oxide semiconductor nanostructures and the photodetector principle, then shows the recent progresses on several kinds of important metal-oxide nanostructures and their photoresponses and briefly presents some additional prospective metal-oxide 1D nanomaterials. Finally, the review is concluded with some perspectives and outlook on the future developments in this area.
metal oxide semiconductor; one-dimensional nanostructures; sensor; photodetector; transistor
The development of biosensors using electrochemical methods is a promising application in the field of biotechnology. High sensitivity sensors for the bio-detection of proteins have been developed using several kinds of nanomaterials. The performance of the sensors depends on the type of nanostructures with which the biomaterials interact. One dimensional (1-D) structures such as nanowires, nanotubes and nanorods are proven to have high potential for bio-applications. In this paper we review these three different kinds of nanostructures that have attracted much attention at recent times with their great performance as biosensors. Materials such as polymers, carbon and zinc oxide have been widely used for the fabrication of nanostructures because of their enhanced performance in terms of sensitivity, biocompatibility, and ease of preparation. Thus we consider polymer nanowires, carbon nanotubes and zinc oxide nanorods for discussion in this paper. We consider three stages in the development of biosensors: (a) fabrication of biomaterials into nanostructures, (b) alignment of the nanostructures and (c) immobilization of proteins. Two different methods by which the biosensors can be developed at each stage for all the three nanostructures are examined. Finally, we conclude by mentioning some of the major challenges faced by many researchers who seek to fabricate biosensors for real time applications.
biosensor; nanostructures; electrochemical; immobilization
An optical sensor based on the coupling between the plasmonic and photonic resonance modes in metallic photonic crystals is investigated. Large-area metallic photonic crystals consisting of periodically arranged gold nanostructures with dimensions down to sub-100 nm are fabricated using solution-processible gold nanoparticles in combination with interference lithography or interference ablation, which introduces a variety of fabrication techniques for the construction of this kind of sensor device. Sensitivity of the plasmonic response of the gold nanostructures to the changes in the environmental refractive index is enhanced through the coupling between the narrow-band photonic resonance mode and the relatively broad-band plasmon resonance, which is recognized as a Fano-like effect and is utilized to explore sensors. Theoretical modeling shows the characterization and the optimization of the sensitivity of this kind of sensor device. Theoretical and experimental results are demonstrated for the approaches to improve the sensitivity of the sensor device.
plasmonic-photonic coupling; metallic photonic crystals; sensitivity enhancement; angle-resolved tuning; waveguide thinning
Nanostructures are known to be exquisitely sensitive to the chemical environment and offer
ultra-high sensitivity for gas-sensing. However, the fabrication and operation of devices
that use individual nanostructures for sensing is complex, expensive and suffers from poor
reliability due to contamination and large variability from sample-to-sample. By contrast,
conventional solid-state and conducting-polymer sensors offer excellent reliability but
suffer from reduced sensitivity at room-temperature. Here we report a macro graphene
foam-like three-dimensional network which combines the best of both worlds. The walls of the
foam are comprised of few-layer graphene sheets resulting in high sensitivity; we
demonstrate parts-per-million level detection of NH3 and NO2 in air at
room-temperature. Further, the foam is a mechanically robust and flexible macro-scale
network that is easy to contact (without Lithography) and can rival the durability and
affordability of traditional sensors. Moreover, Joule-heating expels chemisorbed molecules
from the foam's surface leading to fully-reversible and low-power operation.
Over the past decade, electrical detection of chemical and biological species using novel nanostructure-based devices has attracted significant attention for chemical, genomics, biomedical diagnostics, and drug discovery applications. The use of nanostructured devices in chemical/biological sensors in place of conventional sensing technologies has advantages of high sensitivity, low decreased energy consumption and potentially highly miniaturized integration. Owing to their particular structure, excellent electrical properties and high chemical stability, carbon nanotube and graphene based electrical devices have been widely developed for high performance label-free chemical/biological sensors. Here, we review the latest developments of carbon nanostructure-based transistor sensors in ultrasensitive detection of chemical/biological entities, such as poisonous gases, nucleic acids, proteins and cells.
chemical and biological sensors; carbon nanotubes; grapheme
The template-based methods belong to low-cost and rapid preparation techniques for various nanostructures like nanowires, nanotubes, and nanodots or even quantum dots [QDs]. The nanostructured surfaces with QDs are very promising in the application as a sensor array, also called 'fluorescence array detector.' In particular, this new sensing approach is suitable for the detection of various biomolecules (DNA, proteins) in vitro (in clinical diagnostics) as well as for in vivo imaging.
The paper deals with the fabrication of TiO2 planar nanostructures (QDs) by the process of titanium anodic oxidation through an alumina nanoporous template on a silicon substrate. Scanning electron microscopy observation showed that the average diameter of TiO2 QDs is less than 10 nm. Raman spectroscopic characterization of self-organized titania QDs confirmed the presence of an anatase phase after annealing at 400°C in vacuum. Such heat-treated TiO2 QDs revealed a broad emission peak in the visible range (characterized by fluorescence spectroscopy).
quantum dots; biosensing; TiO2; template methods; nanoporous mask
Metal oxide gas sensors are predominant solid-state gas detecting devices for domestic, commercial and industrial applications, which have many advantages such as low cost, easy production, and compact size. However, the performance of such sensors is significantly influenced by the morphology and structure of sensing materials, resulting in a great obstacle for gas sensors based on bulk materials or dense films to achieve highly-sensitive properties. Lots of metal oxide nanostructures have been developed to improve the gas sensing properties such as sensitivity, selectivity, response speed, and so on. Here, we provide a brief overview of metal oxide nanostructures and their gas sensing properties from the aspects of particle size, morphology and doping. When the particle size of metal oxide is close to or less than double thickness of the space-charge layer, the sensitivity of the sensor will increase remarkably, which would be called “small size effect”, yet small size of metal oxide nanoparticles will be compactly sintered together during the film coating process which is disadvantage for gas diffusion in them. In view of those reasons, nanostructures with many kinds of shapes such as porous nanotubes, porous nanospheres and so on have been investigated, that not only possessed large surface area and relatively mass reactive sites, but also formed relatively loose film structures which is an advantage for gas diffusion. Besides, doping is also an effective method to decrease particle size and improve gas sensing properties. Therefore, the gas sensing properties of metal oxide nanostructures assembled by nanoparticles are reviewed in this article. The effect of doping is also summarized and finally the perspectives of metal oxide gas sensor are given.
metal oxide; gas sensing; nanostructure; size effect; doping
Sensors that change color have the advantages of versatility, ease of use, high sensitivity, and low cost. The recent development of optically based chemical sensing platforms has increasingly employed substrates manufactured with advanced processing or fabrication techniques to provide precise control over shape and morphology of the sensor micro- and nano-structure. New sensors have resulted with improved capabilities for a number of sensing applications, including the detection of biomolecules and environmental monitoring. This perspective focuses on recent optical sensor devices that utilize nanostructured substrates.
Colorimetric Sensors; Diffraction Gratings; Photonics; Plasmonics; Nanostructures; Sensors
Nanotechnology has opened new and exhilarating opportunities for exploring glucose biosensing applications of the newly prepared nanostructured materials. Nanostructured metal-oxides have been extensively explored to develop biosensors with high sensitivity, fast response times, and stability for the determination of glucose by electrochemical oxidation. This article concentrates mainly on the development of different nanostructured metal-oxide [such as ZnO, Cu(I)/(II) oxides, MnO2, TiO2, CeO2, SiO2, ZrO2, and other metal-oxides] based glucose biosensors. Additionally, we devote our attention to the operating principles (i.e., potentiometric, amperometric, impedimetric and conductometric) of these nanostructured metal-oxide based glucose sensors. Finally, this review concludes with a personal prospective and some challenges of these nanoscaled sensors.
nanostructured metal-oxides; glucose biosensor; electrochemical principles; enzymatic sensor; nonenzymatic sensor
ZnO nanotetrapods have recently been exploited for the realization of high-sensitivity gas sensors, but they are affected by the typical drawbacks of metal-oxides, i.e., poor selectivity and a relatively high working temperature. On the other hand, it has been also demonstrated that the combined use of nanostructured metal oxides and organic molecules can improve the gas sensing performance sensitivity or selectivity, even at lower temperatures. A gas sensor device, based on films of interconnected ZnO nanotetrapods properly functionalized by titanyl phthalocyanine (TiOPc), has been realized in order to combine the high surface to volume ratio and structural stability of the crystalline ZnO nanostructures with the enhanced sensitivity of the semiconducting TiOPc molecule, especially at low temperature. The electronic properties of the resulting nanohybrid material are different from those of each single component. The response of the hybrid nanostructure towards different gases has been compared with that of ZnO nanotetrapod without functionalization in order to highlight the peculiar properties of the hybrid interaction(s). The dynamic response in time has been studied for different gases and temperatures; in particular, an increase in the response to NO2 has been observed, even at room temperature. The formation of localized p-n heterojunctions and the possibility of exchanging charge carriers at the hybrid interface is shown to be crucial for the sensing mechanism.
gas sensor; ZnO nanostructures; phthalocyanine; NO2; room temperature
We report the application of palladium nanoparticles and thin films for hydrogen sensor. Electrochemically grown palladium particles with spherical shapes deposited on Si substrate and sputter deposited Pd thin films were used to detect hydrogen at room temperature. Grain size dependence of H2 sensing behavior has been discussed for both types of Pd films. The electrochemically grown Pd nanoparticles were observed to show better hydrogen sensing response than the sputtered palladium thin films. The demonstration of size dependent room temperature H2 sensing paves the ways to fabricate the room temperature metallic and metal–metal oxide semiconductor sensor by tuning the size of metal catalyst in mixed systems. H2 sensing by the Pd nanostructures is attributed to the chemical and electronic sensitization mechanisms.
Palladium; Hydrogen sensors
We report the application of palladium nanoparticles and thin films for hydrogen sensor. Electrochemically grown palladium particles with spherical shapes deposited on Si substrate and sputter deposited Pd thin films were used to detect hydrogen at room temperature. Grain size dependence of H2sensing behavior has been discussed for both types of Pd films. The electrochemically grown Pd nanoparticles were observed to show better hydrogen sensing response than the sputtered palladium thin films. The demonstration of size dependent room temperature H2sensing paves the ways to fabricate the room temperature metallic and metal–metal oxide semiconductor sensor by tuning the size of metal catalyst in mixed systems. H2sensing by the Pd nanostructures is attributed to the chemical and electronic sensitization mechanisms.
Palladium; Hydrogen sensors
Tissue engineering seeks to develop functional tissues in a biomimetic environment in vitro. As the extracellular environment in vivo is composed of numerous nanostructures, fabrication of nanostructured substrates will be valuable for tissue engineering applications. In this article, we report a simple nanoimprint lithography (NIL) process to pattern nanostructures directly on tissue-culture polystyrene plates. By repeating this NIL process, three-dimensional scaffolds consisting of multiple-layer nanostructures were also fabricated. Bovine pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells were cultured on imprinted gratings ranging from 350 nm to 10 μm. The smooth muscle cells attached and proliferated well on these imprinted substrates without additional surface treatment. Cell elongation and alignment were observed on the micro- and nanopatterns, with the effect significantly more pronounced on the nanostructures.
In this paper, we present a modified nanosphere lithographic scheme that is based on the self-assembly and electroforming techniques. The scheme was demonstrated to fabricate a nickel template of ordered nanobowl arrays together with a nickel nanostructure array-patterned glass substrate. The hemispherical nanobowls exhibit uniform sizes and smooth interior surfaces, and the shallow nanobowls with a flat bottom on the glass substrate are interconnected as a net structure with uniform thickness. A multiphysics model based on the level set method (LSM) was built up to understand this fabricating process by tracking the interface between the growing nickel and the electrolyte. The fabricated nickel nanobowl template can be used as a mold of long lifetime in soft lithography due to the high strength of nickel. The nanostructure–patterned glass substrate can be used in optical and magnetic devices due to their shape effects. This fabrication scheme can also be extended to a wide range of metals and alloys.
Electroforming; Level set method; Nanostructure arrays; Nanosphere lithography
Porous anodic alumina membranes (AAMs) have attracted great amount of attention due to their potential application as templates for nanoengineering. Template-guided fabrication and assembly of nanomaterials based on AAMs are cost-effective and scalable methods to program and engineer the shape and morphology of nanostructures and nanomaterials. In this work, perfectly ordered AAMs with the record large pitch up to 3 μm have been fabricated by properly controlling the anodization conditions and utilization of nanoimprint technique. Due to the capability of programmable structural design and fabrication, a variety of nanostructures, including nanopillar arrays, nanotower arrays, and nanocone arrays, have been successfully fabricated using nanoengineered AAM templates. Particularly, amorphous Si nanocones have been fabricated as three-dimensional nanophotonic structures with the characterization of their intriguing optical anti-reflection property. These results directly indicate the potential application of the reported approach for photonics and optoelectronics.
Large-pitch anodic alumina membranes; Programmable nanoengineering templates; Nanocones; Three-dimensional nanophotonic structures
There is no doubt that the recent advances in nanotechnology have made it possible to realize a great variety of new sensors with signal transduction mechanisms utilizing physical phenomena at the nanoscale. Some examples are conductivity measurements in nanowires, deflection of cantilevers and spectroscopy of plasmonic nanoparticles. The fact that these techniques are based on the special properties of nanostructural entities provides for extreme sensor miniaturization since a single structural unit often can be used as transducer. This review discusses the advantages and problems with such small sensors, with focus on biosensing applications and label-free real-time analysis of liquid samples. Many aspects of sensor design are considered, such as thermodynamic and diffusion aspects on binding kinetics as well as multiplexing and noise issues. Still, all issues discussed are generic in the sense that the conclusions apply to practically all types of surface sensitive techniques. As a counterweight to the current research trend, it is argued that in many real world applications, better performance is achieved if the active sensor is larger than that in typical nanosensors. Although there are certain specific sensing applications where nanoscale transducers are necessary, it is argued herein that this represents a relatively rare situation. Instead, it is suggested that sensing on the microscale often offers a good compromise between utilizing some possible advantages of miniaturization while avoiding the complications. This means that ensemble measurements on multiple nanoscale sensors are preferable instead of utilizing a single transducer entity.
sensor; biosensor; size; miniaturization; surface; nano; micro
The II–V group semiconductors, with narrow band gaps, are important materials with many applications in infrared detectors, lasers, solar cells, ultrasonic multipliers, and Hall generators. Since the first report on trumpet-like Zn3P2 nanowires, one-dimensional (1-D) nanostructures of II–V group semiconductors have attracted great research attention recently because these special 1-D nanostructures may find applications in fabricating new electronic and optoelectronic nanoscale devices. This article covers the 1-D II–V semiconducting nanostructures that have been synthesized till now, focusing on nanotubes, nanowires, nanobelts, and special nanostructures like heterostructured nanowires. Novel electronic and optoelectronic devices built on 1-D II–V semiconducting nanostructures will also be discussed, which include metal–insulator-semiconductor field-effect transistors, metal-semiconductor field-effect transistors, and p–n heterojunction photodiode. We intent to provide the readers a brief account of these exciting research activities.
Nanowires; Nanotubes; Nanobelts; Semiconductors; Nanoelectronics
The II–V group semiconductors, with narrow band gaps, are important materials with many applications in infrared detectors, lasers, solar cells, ultrasonic multipliers, and Hall generators. Since the first report on trumpet-like Zn3P2nanowires, one-dimensional (1-D) nanostructures of II–V group semiconductors have attracted great research attention recently because these special 1-D nanostructures may find applications in fabricating new electronic and optoelectronic nanoscale devices. This article covers the 1-D II–V semiconducting nanostructures that have been synthesized till now, focusing on nanotubes, nanowires, nanobelts, and special nanostructures like heterostructured nanowires. Novel electronic and optoelectronic devices built on 1-D II–V semiconducting nanostructures will also be discussed, which include metal–insulator-semiconductor field-effect transistors, metal-semiconductor field-effect transistors, andp–nheterojunction photodiode. We intent to provide the readers a brief account of these exciting research activities.
Nanowires; Nanotubes; Nanobelts; Semiconductors; Nanoelectronics
Various nanowire or nanotube-based devices have been demonstrated to fulfill the anticipated future demands on sensors. To fabricate such devices, electric field-based methods have demonstrated a great potential to integrate one-dimensional nanostructures into various forms. This review paper discusses theoretical and experimental aspects of the working principles, the assembled structures, and the unique functions associated with electric field-based assembly. The challenges and opportunities of the assembly methods are addressed in conjunction with future directions toward high performance sensors.
review; electric field; nanowire; nanotubes; assembly; sensors