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Sweden’s RIT Explores Silicon Nanoribbons

by Editor1 last modified March 27, 2008 - 12:13

Semiconductor nanoribbons, a thin sheet of silicon placed on an oxidized silicon substrate, can detect biomolecules at high sensitivity say researchers at Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology.

Sweden’s RIT Explores Silicon Nanoribbons

Representation of a silicon nanoribbon

The RIT researchers found the nanoribbons’ dimensions enable optical lithography to be used, resulting in a simple and high-yield fabrication process. Electrical characterization of the nanoribbons is complemented by computer simulations showing enhanced sensitivity for thin ribbons  The approach opens up for large scale CMOS fabrication of highly sensitive biomolecule sensor chips for potential use in medicine and biotechnology, RIT said.

As to the sensitivity, RIT reported their approach can reach less than ~20 analyte molecules bound to receptors (a sensitivity corresponding to the picomolar concentration regime in the biotin/streptavidin case.

The work represents a collaborative effort by RIT’s biotechnology and microelectronics researchers. The work appears in February’s ACS publication, and was authored by RIT’s Niklas Elfström, Amelie Eriksson Karlström, and Jan Linnros.