Departmental Papers (ESE)


A nanoenabled gravimetric chemical sensor prototype based on the large scale integration of single-stranded DNA (ss-DNA) decorated single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) as nanofunctionalization layer for aluminum nitride contour-mode resonant microelectromechanical (MEM) gravimetric sensors has been demonstrated. The capability of two distinct single strands of DNA bound to SWNTs to enhance differently the adsorption of volatile organic compounds such as dinitroluene (simulant for explosive vapor) and dymethyl-methylphosphonate (simulant for nerve agent sarin) has been verified experimentally. Different levels of sensitivity (17.3 and 28 KHz µm^2/fg) due to separate frequencies of operation (287 and 450 MHz) on the same die have also been shown to prove the large dynamic range of sensitivity attainable with the sensor. The adsorption process in the ss-DNA decorated SWNTs does not occur in the bulk of the material, but solely involves the surface, which permits to achieve 50% recovery in less than 29 s.

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



Copyright 2009 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. Reprinted from:

Nanoenabled microelectromechanical sensor for volatile organic chemical detection Chiara Zuniga, Matteo Rinaldi, Samuel M. Khamis, A. T. Johnson, and Gianluca Piazza, Appl. Phys. Lett. 94, 223122 (2009), DOI:10.1063/1.3151919 URL:


MEMS, microsensors, chemical sensors, carbon nanotubes, DNA, selectivity



Date Posted: 10 June 2009

This document has been peer reviewed.