Electrical detection of amine ligation to a metalloporphyrin via a hybrid SOI-MOSFET

Bharath R. Takulapalli, Gez M. Laws, Paul A. Liddell, Joakim Andréasson, Zach Erno, Devens Gust, Trevor Thornton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


A close-packed monolayer of zinc 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(3-carboxyphenyl) porphyrin has been prepared and deposited on the thin native oxide covering the surface of an SOI-MOSFET (silicon-on-insulator metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistor) using Langmuir-Blodgett techniques. When the device is exposed to amine vapors in a nitrogen atmosphere, the amine coordinates to the zinc atom. The resulting change in electron distribution within the porphyrin leads to a large change in the drain current of the transistor, biased via a back gate. This change is sensitive to both the amount of amine present and the base strength of the amine. Only very small changes in drain current were observed with a monolayer of free base porphyrin or palmitic acid. After exposure to high pyridine concentrations, the device response saturates, but partially recovers after overnight exposure to flowing nitrogen gas. Interestingly, the device response is instantaneously reset by exposure to visible light, suggesting that photode-ligation occurs. An electrical model for the hybrid device that describes its response to ligand binding in terms of a change in the work function of the porphyrin monolayer has been developed. A transistor response to a few hundred attomoles of bound pyridine can be readily detected. This extreme sensitivity, coupled with the ability to reset the device using light, suggests that such systems might be useful as sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2226-2233
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 20 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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