Selective layer-free blood serum ionogram based on ion-specific interactions with a nanotransistor

R. Sivakumarasamy, R. Hartkamp, Bertrand Siboulet, Jean François Dufrêche, K. Nishiguchi, A Fujiwara, N. Clément*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Despite being ubiquitous in the fields of chemistry and biology, the ion-specific effects of electrolytes pose major challenges for researchers. A lack of understanding about ion-specific surface interactions has hampered the development and application of materials for (bio-)chemical sensor applications. Here, we show that scaling a silicon nanotransistor sensor down to ~25 nm provides a unique opportunity to understand and exploit ion-specific surface interactions, yielding a surface that is highly sensitive to cations and inert to pH. The unprecedented sensitivity of these devices to Na+ and divalent ions can be attributed to an overscreening effect via molecular dynamics. The surface potential of multi-ion solutions is well described by the sum of the electrochemical potentials of each cation, enabling selective measurements of a target ion concentration without requiring a selective organic layer. We use these features to construct a blood serum ionogram for Na+, K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+, in an important step towards the development of a versatile, durable and mobile chemical or blood diagnostic tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-470
JournalNature Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project

Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


Dive into the research topics of 'Selective layer-free blood serum ionogram based on ion-specific interactions with a nanotransistor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this