Biodetection using electrolyte gated field effect transistors has been mainly correlated to charge modulated transduction. Therefore, such platforms are designed and studied for limited applications involving relatively small charged species and much care is taken in the operating conditions particularly pH and salt concentration (ionic strength). However, there are several reports suggesting that the device conductance can also be very sensitive towards variations in the capacitance coupling. Understanding the sensing mechanism is important for further exploitation of these promising sensors in broader range of applications. In this paper, we present a thorough and in depth study of a multilayer protein system coupled to an electrolyte gated transistor. It is demonstrated that detection associated to a binding event taking place at a distance of 30 nm far from the organic semiconductor-electrolyte interface is possible and the device conductance is dominated by Donnan’s capacitance of anchored biomolecules.
Functional bio-interlayer organic field - effect transistors (FBI-OFET), embedding streptavidin, avidin and neutravidin as bio-recognition element, have been studied to probe the electronic properties of protein complexes. The threshold voltage control has been achieved modifying the SiO2 gate diaelectric surface by means of the deposition of an interlayer of bio-recognition elements. A threshold voltage shift with respect to the unmodified dielectric surface toward more negative potential values has been found for the three different proteins, in agreement with their isoelectric points. The relative responses in terms of source – drain current, mobility and threshold voltage upon exposure to biotin of the FBI-OFET devices have been compared for the three bio-recognition elements.