Remote Floating-Gate Field-Effect Transistor with 2-Dimensional Reduced Graphene Oxide Sensing Layer for Reliable Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Proteins

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SARS-CoV-2 biosensor, graphene oxides, RFGFET, drift, pH detection, COVID-19


Despite intensive research of nanomaterials-based field-effect transistors (FETs) as a rapid diagnostic tool, it remains to be seen for FET sensors to be used for clinical applications due to a lack of stability, reliability, reproducibility, and scalability for mass production. Herein, we propose a remote floating-gate (RFG) FET configuration to eliminate device-to-device variations of two-dimensional reduced graphene oxide (rGO) sensing surfaces and most of the instability at the solution interface. Also, critical mechanistic factors behind the electrochemical instability of rGO such as severe drift and hysteresis were identified through extensive studies on rGO–solution interfaces varied by rGO thickness, coverage, and reduction temperature. rGO surfaces in our RFGFET structure displayed a Nernstian response of 54 mV/pH (from pH 2 to 11) with a 90% yield (9 samples out of total 10), coefficient of variation (CV) < 3%, and a low drift rate of 2%, all of which were calculated from the absolute measurement values. As proof-of-concept, we demonstrated highly reliable, reproducible, and label-free detection of spike proteins of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in a saliva-relevant media with concentrations ranging from 500 fg/mL to 5 μg/mL, with an R2 value of 0.984 and CV < 3%, and a guaranteed limit of detection at a few pg/mL. Taken together, this new platform may have an immense effect on positioning FET bioelectronics in a clinical setting for detecting SARS-CoV-2.


Hyun-June Jang, Xiaoyu Sui, Wen Zhuang, Xiaodan Huang, Min Chen, Xiaolei Cai, Yale Wang, Byunghoon Ryu, Haihui Pu, Nicholas Ankenbruck, Kathleen Beavis, Jun Huang, and Junhong Chen. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2022 14 (21), 24187-24196

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.2c04969