From Event: SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics, 2016
A key task in bioelectronics is the transduction between ionic/protonic signals and electronic signals at high fidelity. This is a considerable challenge since the two carrier types exhibit intrinsically different physics. We present our work on a new class of organic-inorganic transducing interface utilising semiconducting InAs and GaAs nanowires directly gated with a proton transporting hygroscopic polymer consisting of undoped polyethylene oxide (PEO) patterned to nanoscale dimensions by a newly developed electron-beam lithography process . Remarkably, we find our undoped PEO polymer electrolyte gate dielectric  gives equivalent electrical performance to the more traditionally used LiClO4-doped PEO , with an ionic conductivity three orders of magnitude higher than previously reported for undoped PEO . The observed behaviour is consistent with proton conduction in PEO. We attribute our undoped PEO-based devices’ performance to the small external surface and high surface-to-volume ratio of both the nanowire conducting channel and patterned PEO dielectric in our devices, as well as the enhanced hydration afforded by device processing and atmospheric conditions. In addition to studying the basic transducing mechanisms, we also demonstrate high-fidelity ionic to electronic conversion of a.c. signals at frequencies up to 50 Hz. Moreover, by combining complementary n- and p-type transducers we demonstrate functional hybrid ionic-electronic circuits can achieve logic (NOT operation), and with some further engineering of the nanowire contacts, potentially also amplification. Our device structures have significant potential to be scaled towards realising integrated bioelectronic circuitry.
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Damon J. Carrad, Bernard Mostert, Paul Meredith, and Adam P. Micolich, "Hybrid nanowire ion-to-electron transducers for integrated bioelectronic circuitry
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9944, Organic Sensors and Bioelectronics IX, 994408 (Presented at SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics: August 28, 2016; Published: 7 November 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238701.5169177886001.
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