Simulation of graphene field-effect transistor biosensors for bacterial detection

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Original languageEnglish
Article number1715
Journal / PublicationSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Online published25 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018



Foodborne illness is correlated with the existence of infectious pathogens such as bacteria in food and drinking water. Probe-modified graphene field effect transistors (G-FETs) have been shown to be suitable for Escherichia coli (E. coli) detection. Here, the G-FETs for bacterial detection are modeled and simulated with COMSOL Multiphysics to understand the operation of the biosensors. The motion of E. coli cells in electrolyte and the surface charge of graphene induced by E. coli are systematically investigated. The comparison between the simulation and experimental data proves the sensing probe size to be a key parameter affecting the surface charge of graphene induced by bacteria. Finally, the relationship among the change in source-drain current (ΔIds ), graphene-bacteria distance and bacterial concentration is established. The shorter graphene-bacteria distance and higher bacterial concentration give rise to better sensing performance (larger ΔIds ) of the G-FETs biosensors. The simulation here could serve as a guideline for the design and optimization of G-FET biosensors for various applications.

Research Area(s)

  • Biosensors, Escherichia coli, Graphene field-effect transistor, Motion, Simulation

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