Electron Beam Lithography Fabricated Carbon Nanofiber Sensor for Water Based Biohazards
Brown, Devin K.
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The Nanotechnology Research Center has partnered with Early Warning, Inc. to fabricate a sensor for detection of biohazards in water. The biosensor platform technology has been licensed to Early Warning by NASA and was originally designed with the intent to detect pathogens in remote space environments. Each target pathogen has its own working electrode which contains bioprobes of single strands of nucleic acids attached to the tips of the ultrasensitive carbon nanofibers. When the single strands of RNA from the sample come into contact with the bioprobes, complementary strands hybridize into double helices. A potential scan is applied and guanine oxidation causes a flow of electrons that is conducted by the nanowires. A ruthenium mediator amplifies the signal. These signals are calibrated with known values and can indicate the concentration levels of the target pathogen. The carbon nanofibers are grown in an Aixtron Black Magic CVD system using a substrate patterned with 100 nm diameter catalysts. The catalysts are fabricated with a JEOL JBX-9300FS electron beam lithography system using a liftoff process with polymethyl methacrylate resist.
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