Indexed on: 22 Apr '08Published on: 22 Apr '08Published in: Nature materials
Organic thin-film transistor sensors have been recently attracting the attention of the plastic electronics community for their potential exploitation in novel sensing platforms. Specificity and sensitivity are however still open issues: in this respect chiral discrimination-being a scientific and technological achievement in itself--is indeed one of the most challenging sensor bench-tests. So far, conducting-polymer solid-state chiral detection has been carried out at part-per-thousand concentration levels. Here, a novel chiral bilayer organic thin-film transistor gas sensor--comprising an outermost layer with built-in enantioselective properties-is demonstrated to show field-effect amplified sensitivity that enables differential detection of optical isomers in the tens-of-parts-per-million concentration range. The ad-hoc-designed organic semiconductor endowed with chiral side groups, the bilayer structure and the thin-film transistor transducer provide a significant step forward in the development of a high-performance and versatile sensing platform compatible with flexible organic electronic technologies.