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Recent Advances In Electric-Double-Layer Transistors For Bio-Chemical Sensing Applications

Ning Liu, Ru Chen, Qing Wan

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As promising biochemical sensors, ion-sensitive field-effect transistors (ISFETs) are used widely in the growing field of biochemical sensing applications. Recently, a new type of field-effect transistor gated by ionic electrolytes has attracted intense attention due to the extremely strong electric-double-layer (EDL) gating effect. In such devices, the carrier density of the semiconductor channel can be effectively modulated by an ion-induced EDL capacitance at the semiconductor/electrolyte interface. With advantages of large specific capacitance, low operating voltage and sensitive interfacial properties, various EDL-based transistor (EDLT) devices have been developed for ultrasensitive portable sensing applications. In this article, we will review the recent progress of EDLT-based biochemical sensors. Starting with a brief introduction of the concepts of EDL capacitance and EDLT, we describe the material compositions and the working principle of EDLT devices. Moreover, the biochemical sensing performances of several important EDLTs are discussed in detail, including organic-based EDLTs, oxide-based EDLTs, nanomaterial-based EDLTs and neuromorphic EDLTs. Finally, the main challenges and development prospects of EDLT-based biochemical sensors are listed.