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Engineering porous silicon photonic structures towards fast and reliable optical biosensing

Author: Yiliang Zhao
Publisher: [Nashville, Tenn.] : Vanderbilt University, 2017.
Dissertation: Ph. D. Vanderbilt University 2017. in Interdisciplinary Materials Science
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : Manuscript : eBook   Archival Material   Computer File : English
Summary:
Porous silicon, a nanostructured material formed by electrochemical etching of a silicon substrate, is an ideal candidate for constructing optical biosensors due to its large internal surface area, straightforward fabrication, and tunable optical properties that can be exploited to form numerous photonic structures. A major challenge for porous silicon biosensors is that its reactive surface is highly susceptible to  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic dissertations
Academic theses
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Manuscript, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File, Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Yiliang Zhao
OCLC Number: 1105757967
Description: 1 online resource : illustrations
Responsibility: by Yiliang Zhao.

Abstract:

Porous silicon, a nanostructured material formed by electrochemical etching of a silicon substrate, is an ideal candidate for constructing optical biosensors due to its large internal surface area, straightforward fabrication, and tunable optical properties that can be exploited to form numerous photonic structures. A major challenge for porous silicon biosensors is that its reactive surface is highly susceptible to oxidation and corrosion in an aqueous environment. In DNA sensing applications, porous silicon corrosion can mask the DNA binding signal as the dissolution of porous silicon is accelerated by the negative charges on the phosphate backbone of the DNA molecules. This corrosion process can be mitigated through surface passivation of porous silicon and the use of charge neutral peptide nucleic acid molecules as capturing probes for DNA targets. Complete mitigation can be achieved by additionally introducing Mg2+ ions to shield the negative charges on the DNA targets. Another key challenge facing porous silicon biosensors is the inefficient analyte transport through nanopores, which can be as slow as a few molecules per pore per second for molecules whose size approaches that of the pore opening. An open-ended porous silicon membrane is demonstrated to overcome the mass transport challenge by allowing analytes to flow through the pores in microfluidic-based assays. The flow-through approach for biosensing using porous silicon membranes enables a 6-fold improvement in sensor response time compared to closed-ended, flow-over porous silicon sensors when detecting high molecular weight analytes (e.g., streptavidin). For small analytes, little to no sensor performance improvement is observed as the closed-ended porous silicon films do not suffer significant mass transport challenges with these molecules. Experimental results and finite element method simulations also indicate that the flow-through scheme enables more reasonable response times for the detection of dilute analytes and reduces the volume of solution required for analysis. Overall, the improvement of surface stabilization and analyte transport efficiency in porous silicon opens the door to a fast and reliable optical biosensing platform.

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