Three-Dimensional Simulations of Field Effect Sensors for DNA Detection
Here, the development of a DNA field-effect transistor (DNAFET) simulator is described. In DNAFETs the gate structure of a silicon on insulator (SOI) field-effect transistor is replaced by a layer of immobilized single-stranded DNA molecules which act as surface probe molecules. When complementary DNA strands bind to the receptors, the charge distribution near the surface of the device changes, modulating current transport through the device and enabling detection Arrays of DNAFETs can be used for detecting single-nucleotide polymorphisms and for DNA sequencing. The advantage of DNAFETs over optical methods of detection is that DNAFETs allow direct, label-free operation. The simulator constructs the specified DNA molecules and calculates the electrostatic potential due to the partial charges of the DNA molecules by solving the three-dimensional Poisson-Boltzmann equation. The resulting data demonstrate how the specifications of the device affect its level of sensitivity. Further collaborations with experimentalists in the field will lead to further advances in medicine.
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