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The Functionalization of Epitaxial Graphene on SiC with Nanoparticles towards Biosensing Capabilities
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Graphene has been shown to be very powerful as a transducer in many biosensor applications due to its high sensitivity. This enables smaller surfaces and therefore less material consumption when producing sensors and concequently cheaper and more portable sensors compared to the commercially available sensors today.

The electrical properties of graphene are very sensitive to gas exposure why presence of molecules or small changes in concentration could easily be detected when using graphene as a sensing layer. Graphene is sensitive towards many molecules and in order to detect and possibly identify gas molecules the surface needs to be functionalized. The intention of this project was to use nanoparticles (NPs) to further increase sensitivity and specificity towards selected molecules and also enable biofunctionalization of the NPs, and by that tune the electrical properties of the graphene. This study proposes the use of Fe3O4 and TiO2 NPs to enable sensitive detection of volatile gases and possibly further functionalization of the NPs using biomolecules as a detecting agent in a liquid-phasebiosensor application. The interaction between graphene and NPs have been investigated using several surface charactarization methods and electrical measurements for detection of gaseous molecules and also molecules in a liquid solution. The characterizing methods used are XPS, AFM with surface-potential mapping and Raman spectroscopy with reflectance mapping in order to investigate the NPs interaction with the graphene surface. Sensors where manufactured for gas-phase detection of CO, formaldehyde, benzene and NH3 specifically and display differences in sensitivity and behavior of the Fe3O4 and TiO2 NPs respectively. For liquid measurements the difference in behavior in two buffers was investigated using an in-house flow-cell setup. The surface charecterizing measurements indicated that just a small difference could be found between the two NPs, however a significant change in sensor response could be detected as a function of coverage. The liquid and gas-phase measurements rendered information on differences in sensitivity between the NPs and between analytes where TiO2 showed a higher level of sensitivity towards most of the gases investigated. Both Fe3O4 and TiO2 NP coated graphene showed capability to detect formaldehyde and benzene down to 50 ppb and 5 ppb respectively. The sensitive gas detection could help protecting individuals being exposed to a hazardous level of volatile gases if concentrations increase rapidly or at a long term exposure with lower concentrations, improving saftey and health where these gases are present.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 65 p.
Keyword [en]
Graphene, Epitaxial, Silicon carbide, SiC, Nanoparticles, NPs, TiO2, Fe3O4, Functionalization, Gas sensing, CO, CH2O, C6H6, NH3, Carbon monoxide, Formaldehyde, Benzene, Ammonia, WHO, Hollow cathode, plasma sputtering, AFM, XPS, Raman spectroscopy, Surface characterization, Surface potential, Biosensor, Biosensing
National Category
Other Chemistry Topics
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120502ISRN: LITH-IFM-A-EX--15/3075--SEOAI: diva2:845436
External cooperation
Graphensic AB
Subject / course
Available from: 2015-08-13 Created: 2015-08-11 Last updated: 2015-08-17Bibliographically approved

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Strandqvist, Carl
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