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2D material devices for bio- and chemical- sensing

   Department of Physics

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  Dr Y Wang, Dr S D Johnson  No more applications being accepted  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Graphene and graphene-like two dimensional (2D) materials, such as transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), and transition metal oxides (TMOs), have attracted great attention for a wide variety of biosensing technologies in recent years. In particular, 2D materials can provide an extremely high density of active surface sites over a large area, which in part is what makes them ideal for high-sensitivity detection of biological and chemical molecules. What makes 2D layered materials even more fascinating is their exotic electrical and optical properties compared to their bulk form [1]. Electrically, the 2D material family ranges from metallic (e.g. graphene) and semiconducting (e.g. MoS2, WS2, MoTe2) to insulating (e.g. h-BN). Optically, they also display a broad range of properties, including, fluorescence emission, nanostructure enhanced emission and defect-related emission.

So far, 2D biological and chemical sensors have been based on either optical or electrochemical signals. A multimodal sensor, which combines both the electrochemical and optical detection, is desirable in many ways including enhanced sensitivity and specificity, and new functionality [2,3]. 2D materials provide an ideal solution to achieve such multimodal detection. In this project, the student will develop such multimodal sensors based on 2D layered materials in an LED or a light-emitting field-effect transistor configuration, integrated with microfluidic channels for surface functionalisation and analyte delivery and a CMOS compatible silicon photodetector array for optical signal detection.

Milestones: In year 1, the student will fabricate the 2D light-emitting device, using the clean-room facility and various microscopy equipment based at the York JEOL Nanocentre; in year 2, the student will explore surface functionalisation of the 2D material based devices and explore detection of biochemical reactions, focusing on antibody-antigen binding and enzyme activity; in year 3-3.5, the student will optimise the sensor performance (in terms of detection sensitivity and specificity) focusing on a specific application area within the biological, medical or chemical sciences.

[1] K. Novoselov et al, Science 353, 6298 (2016); [2] G. Triggs, Y Wang et al, Optica 4 (2), 229-234 (2017); [3] D.Conteduca et al, Nature communications 12 (1), 1-9 (2021).

Academic entry requirements: at least a class 2:1 MSc or MPhys degree in Physics or Electronics.

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