Silicon nanowires for sequence-specific DNA sensing: Device fabrication and simulation

Z. Li, B. Rajendran, T. I. Kamins, X. Li, Y. Chen, R. Stanley Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Highly sensitive, sequence-specific and label-free DNA sensors were demonstrated by monitoring the electronic conductance of silicon nanowires (SiNWs) with chemically bonded single-stranded (ss) DNA or peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probe molecules. For a 12-mer oligonucleotide, tens of pM of target ss-DNA in solution was recognized when the complementary DNA oligonucleotide probe was attached to the SiNW surfaces. In contrast, ss-DNA samples of ×1000 concentration with a single-base mismatch produce only a weak signal due to nonspecific binding. In order to gain a physical understanding of the change in conductance of the SiNWs with the attachment of the DNA targets and the probes, process and device simulations of the two-dimensional cross sections of the SiNWs were performed. The simulations explained the width dependence of the SiNW conductance and provided understanding to improve the sensor performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1257-1263
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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