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Nanoscale radiofrequency impedance sensors with unconditionally stable tuning

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4 Author(s)
Requa, M.V. ; Department of Physics, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California 93106, USA ; Fraikin, J.-L. ; Stanton, M.A. ; Cleland, A.N.

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Impedance sensors perform an important role in a number of biosensing applications, including particle counting, sizing, and velocimetry. Detection of nanoparticles, or changes in, e.g., the interfacial Debye–Hückel layer, can also be performed using nanoscale impedance sensors. One method for monitoring changes in the local impedance is to use radiofrequency reflectometry, which when combined with an impedance-matched sensor can afford very high sensitivity with very large detection bandwidth. Maintaining sensitivity and dynamic range, however, requires continuous tuning of the impedance matching network. Here we demonstrate a dual feedback tuning circuit, which allows us to maintain near-perfect impedance matching, even in the presence of long-term drifts in sensor impedance. We apply this tuning technique to a nanoscale interdigitated impedance sensor, designed to allow the direct detection of nanoparticles or real-time monitoring of molecular surface binding. We demonstrate optimal performance of the nanoscale sensor and tuned impedance network both when modulating the concentration of saline to which the sensor is exposed and when electronically switching between sensors configured in a two-element differential array, achieving a stabilization response time of ≪20 ms.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:106 ,  Issue: 7 )

Date of Publication:

Oct 2009

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