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Chemical and Biological Sensors

 

Related research topics in our group:

  • Biomaterials

  • Biosensors and Bioelectronics

  • Stretchable and Healable Electronics

  • Analytical Microsystems

The “Sensor Revolution”, in conjunction with “Internet-of-Things”, carries the vision of analyzing and defining the environment by a ubiquitous deployment of smart, autonomous, and inexpensive sensors. Beyond traditional measurement such as temperature and humidity, emerging sensors are expected to monitor complex phenomena, for example, water quality, gas toxicity, and microbiological growth. Since chemical, bio, and environmental sensors typically measure targets that have many constituents and in the presence of a complex background, it is challenging to design sensors that are accurate, selective, and robust against disturbance. In addition, many sensors exhibit hysteresis and environmental degradation, requiring frequent calibration. Conventional chemical sensors mainly rely on the exchange of electrons between the analyte and the sensing surface.  However, despite tremendous progress, the aforementioned limitations are still not adequately addressed.

Our group has investigated various techniques to transduce chemical/biological inputs to electronic outputs. For example, we have synthesized polymer composites and 2D materials for gas/pollutant, and DNA/protein sensing. Recently, we are exploring the use of ionic sensing materials, for example, ionic hydrogels for chemical and bio sensing. Having the ability to tailor the ionic chemistry of the sensing material can well be a way forward in tackling the long-standing challenge of selectivity. From the point of view of scientific investigation, this system is also a great sandbox, converging materials chemistry, electrochemistry, sensing science, and semiconductor electronic devices in a single pursue.