A Tri-Channel Oxide Transistor Concept for the Rapid Detection of Biomolecules Including the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein

Yen-Hung Lin, Yang Han, Abhinav Sharma, Wejdan S. AlGhamdi, Chien-Hao Liu, Tzu-Hsuan Chang, Xi-Wen Xiao, Wei-Zhi Lin, Po-Yu Lu, Akmaral Seitkhan, Alexander D. Mottram, Pichaya Pattanasattayavong, Hendrik Faber, Martin Heeney, Thomas D. Anthopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Solid-state transistor sensors that can detect biomolecules in real time are highly attractive for emerging bioanalytical applications. However, combining upscalable manufacturing with the required performance remains challenging. Here we develop an alternative biosensor transistor concept that relies on a solution-processed In2O3/ZnO semiconducting heterojunction featuring a geometrically engineered tri-channel architecture for the rapid, real-time detection of important biomolecules. The sensor combines a high electron mobility channel, attributed to the electronic properties of the In2O3/ZnO heterointerface, in close proximity to a sensing surface featuring tethered analyte receptors. The unusual tri-channel design enables strong coupling between the buried electron channel and electrostatic perturbations occurring during receptor-analyte interactions allowing for robust, real-time detection of biomolecules down to attomolar (aM) concentrations. The experimental findings are corroborated by extensive device simulations, highlighting the unique advantages of the heterojunction tri-channel design. By functionalizing the surface of the geometrically-engineered channel with SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) antibody receptors, we demonstrate real-time detection of the SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 protein down to aM concentrations in under two minutes in physiological relevant conditions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2104608
JournalAdvanced Materials
StatePublished - Nov 4 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-11-13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


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