16. Long term stability of nanowire nanoelectronics in physiological environments
Zhou, W., Dai, X., Fu, T.M., Xie, C., Liu, J., and Lieber, C.M., Long term stability of nanowire nanoelectronics in physiological environments.
Nanowire nanoelectronic devices have been exploited as highly sensitive subcellular resolution detectors for recording extracellular and intracellular signals from cells, as well as from natural and engineered/cyborg tissues, and in this capacity open many opportunities for fundamental biological research and biomedical applications. Here we demonstrate the capability to take full advantage of the attractive capabilities of nanowire nanoelectronic devices for long term physiological studies by passivating the nanowire elements with ultrathin metal oxide shells. Studies of Si and Si/aluminum oxide (Al2O3) core/shell nanowires in physiological solutions at 37 degrees C demonstrate long-term stability extending for at least 100 days in samples coated with 10 nm thick Al2O3 shells. In addition, investigations of nanowires configured as field-effect transistors (FETs) demonstrate that the Si/Al2O3 core/shell nanowire FETs exhibit good device performance for at least 4 months in physiological model solutions at 37 degrees C. The generality of this approach was also tested with in studies of Ge/Si and InAs nanowires, where Ge/Si/Al2O3 and InAs/Al2O3 core/shell materials exhibited stability for at least 100 days in physiological model solutions at 37 degrees C. In addition, investigations of hafnium oxide-Al2O3 nanolaminated shells indicate the potential to extend nanowire stability well beyond 1 year time scale in vivo. These studies demonstrate that straightforward core/shell nanowire nanoelectronic devices can exhibit the long term stability needed for a range of chronic in vivo studies in animals as well as powerful biomedical implants that could improve monitoring and treatment of disease.