Solution-gated graphene field effect transistors integrated in microfluidic systems and used for flow velocity detection

Rong Xiang He, Peng Lin, Zhi Ke Liu, Hong Wei Zhu, Xing Zhong Zhao, Helen L.W. Chan, Feng Yan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


Solution-gated graphene field effect transistors (SGGT) were integrated in microfluidic systems. The transfer characteristics of a SGGT with an Ag/AgCl gate electrode shifted horizontally with the change of the ionic concentration of KCl solution in the microchannel and the relationship can be fitted with the Nernst equation, which was attributed to the change of the potential drop at the Ag/AgCl electrode. Therefore the gate electrode is one important factor for the ion sensitive property of the SGGT. Then SGGTs were used as flow velocity sensors, which were based on measuring the streaming potentials in microfluidic channels. A linear relationship between the shift of the transfer curve of the SGGT and the flow velocity was obtained, indicating that the SGGT is a promising transducer for measuring flow velocity in a microchip. Since the streaming potential is influenced by the three physical quantities, including the flow velocity, the ionic strength of the fluid and the zeta potential of the substrate, the device can be used for sensing any one of the three quantities when the other two were known. It is noteworthy that SGGTs have been used for various types of chemical and biological sensors. Array of the devices integrated in multichannel microchips are expected to find many important applications in the lab-on-a-chip systems in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1404-1409
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2012


  • field effect transistor
  • flexible electronics
  • Graphene
  • microfluidics
  • sensor
  • streaming potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering

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