Calibration of a pH sensitive buried channel silicon-on-insulator MOSFET for sensor applications

B. Ashcroft, B. Takulapalli, J. Yang, G. M. Laws, H. Q. Zhang, Nongjian Tao, Stuart Lindsay, D. Gust, Trevor Thornton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The threshold voltage characteristics of a buried channel silicon-on-insulator MOSFET is examined in solutions of varying acidity. Experiments utilizing an integrated micro-fluidic channel exhibit a variation in threshold voltage that appears approximately linear with pH in the range from pH 4 to pH 7, with a sensitivity of ∼1 V per pH unit. Charge configuration changes in the vicinity of the MOSFET inversion layer due to protonation/deprotonation of the device surface is proposed as an explanation for the observed shifts in threshold voltage. When the pH range is expanded we observe a non-linear relationship between pH and the threshold voltage of the device, this behavior is explained in terms of deprotonation of the different species of the native oxide surface, Numerical simulations of the MOSFET demonstrate that the threshold voltage sensitivity corresponds to an additional surface positive fixed charge density of ∼ 1 × 1010 cm -2 for each pH unit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2291-2296
Number of pages6
JournalPhysica Status Solidi (B) Basic Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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