TODAY’S PATENT – HIGH-SENSITIVITY NANOSCALE WIRE SENSORS
Today’s patent was invented by Charles M. Lieber, Xuan Gao, and Gengfeng Zheng on January 3, 2017, bearing patent no. US9535063.
This invention offers a nanoscale wire with enhanced sensitivity, for instance because the wire’s carrier concentration is managed by an external gate voltage. According to one set of implementations, when exposed to a solution that may contain an analyte, the nanoscale wire has a Debye screening length that is longer than its typical cross-sectional dimension.
In some cases, changing the voltage, such as the gate voltage supplied to a FET structure, can change the Debye screening length associated with the carriers inside nanoscale wire. When the carriers in the nanoscale wire are depleted, the conductance of the nanoscale wire may not be linearly proportional to the voltage provided to the nanoscale wire sensor device, such as via a gate electrode, in some circumstances.