We designed and constructed reduced graphene oxide (rGO) functionalized high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) for rapid and ultra-sensitive detection of label-free DNA in real time. The micrometer sized rGO sheets with structural defects helped absorb DNA molecules providing a facile and robust approach to functionalization. DNA was immobilized onto the surface of HEMT gate through rGO functionalization, and changed the conductivity of HEMT. The real time monitor and detection of DNA hybridization by rGO functionalized HEMT presented interesting current responses: a “two steps” signal enhancement in the presence of target DNA; and a “one step” signaling with random DNA. These two different recognition patterns made the HEMT capable of specifically detecting target DNA sequence. The working principle of the rGO functionalized HEMT can be demonstrated as the variation of the ambience charge distribution. Furthermore, the as constructed DNA sensors showed excellent sensitivity of detect limit at 0.07 fM with linear detect range from 0.1 fM to 0.1 pM. The results indicated that the HEMT functionalized with rGO paves a new avenue to design novel electronic devices for high sensitive and specific genetic material assays in biomedical applications.
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