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Increasing energy efficiency and sensitivity with simple sensor platforms

Gole, J.L.
Talanta 2015 v.132 pp. 87-95
acidity, ambient temperature, energy efficiency, microarray technology, micropores, models, nanopores
We outline and review an approach to the construction of conductometric sensors that demonstrate considerably higher sensitivities than traditional metal oxide sensors. Simple sensor platforms do not require film-based technology, operate at room temperature, and can be obtained without the use of time consuming self-assembly processes. A combined nanopore coated micro-porous array is deposited with nanostructure directing acidic metal oxide island sites which vary in their Lewis acidity, decorate the micropores, and control an electron transduction process. The interaction of analytes with these island sites varies in a predictable manner and can be modified through in-situ functionalization of their Lewis acidity. The micropores allow rapid Fickian diffusion of analytes to the active nanostructured island sites whose reversible interaction with the analyte dominates the sensor response. We require only that the island sites be deposited at sufficiently low concentration so as not to interact electronically with each other. Highly accurate repeat placement of the depositions is not required. The nanoporous walls of the microarray act as a phase match for the deposition of a diversity of nanostructures that are selected for deposition from a variety of easily obtained solution-based sources as the forgiving deposition process requires a minimum of energy consumption and time. Comparisons to a variety of metal oxide systems are considered. Observed sensitivities and the sensor system reversibility can be predicted from the recently developing IHSAB model.