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Fabrication of polymer-based DG-FET

Research Achievements

Fabrication of polymer-based DG-FET

IGERT trainee Ben Bunes is part of a team that demonstrated the fabrication of polymer-based DG-FET. They proved the existence of a conduction pathway at the interface between the semiconductor and the sensing gate’s dielectric. Currently, they are working to functionalize the sensing gate. Special small molecules based on PTCDI have been synthesized. Drop casting these molecules destroyed the devices due to the solvent. They developed a process to sublimate the molecules under vacuum. Early sensor testing with ammonia vapor showed a signal enhancement of 4-5 orders of magnitude. Under the guidance of the NASA Glenn Research Center, the DG-FET sensor will eventually be used to detect hydrogen cyanide (HCN). HCN is released when a number of materials burn, including nylon, wool, silk, cotton, plastics and rubber. Due to its high toxicity, sensitive detection is critical to crew safety on manned space missions. Ben and the team have been researching functional materials for sensing HCN.