We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly. Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact us so we can address the problem.

Ion-sensing properties of 1D vanadium pentoxide nanostructures

  • Nirton CS Vieira1Email author,
  • Waldir Avansi2,
  • Alessandra Figueiredo1,
  • Caue Ribeiro3,
  • Valmor R Mastelaro1 and
  • Francisco EG Guimarães1
Nanoscale Research Letters20127:310

DOI: 10.1186/1556-276X-7-310

Received: 18 January 2012

Accepted: 30 May 2012

Published: 18 June 2012

Abstract

The application of one-dimensional (1D) V2O5·n H2O nanostructures as pH sensing material was evaluated. 1D V2O5·n H2O nanostructures were obtained by a hydrothermal method with systematic control of morphology forming different nanostructures: nanoribbons, nanowires and nanorods. Deposited onto Au-covered substrates, 1D V2O5·n H2O nanostructures were employed as gate material in pH sensors based on separative extended gate FET as an alternative to provide FET isolation from the chemical environment. 1D V2O5·n H2O nanostructures showed pH sensitivity around the expected theoretical value. Due to high pH sensing properties, flexibility and low cost, further applications of 1D V2O5·n H2O nanostructures comprise enzyme FET-based biosensors using immobilized enzymes.

Keywords

Vanadium pentoxide Nanostructures pH sensors SEGFET Hydrothermal synthesis

Background

Proton donor-acceptor property (amphoterism) is characteristic of several metal oxides or nitrides. These properties have enabled the development of numerous devices to measure ion activities in chemical environments, including ion-sensitive field-effect transistors (ISFET) [1], capacitive electrolyte-insulator-semiconductors [2], light-addressable potentiometric sensors [3], and separative extended gate field-effect transistors (SEGFET) [4]. All these devices are based on field effect and the surface potential of gate insulator material that changes according to the ion concentration in the solution, controlling the output signal. ISFET is the most common type of field-effect device used in pH sensors and biosensors because it can be miniaturized and manufactured on a large scale. However, in ISFET sensors, the FET is in direct contact with the solution, which can hinder the measurement and immobilization of biomolecules due to their small dimensions. As an alternative, a SEGFET [4] or, in a simple way, a sensitive layer connected to the input pin of a high-impedance buffer, such as an operational amplifier [5, 6], can be utilized. In both cases, the transduction principle (field effect) is the same. Besides the reuse of the FET in new measurements, the robustness and flexibility of the extended sensitive layer facilitate the processing of new materials to be implemented as ion sensors.

Since the technology of field-effect devices is mature, research has focused on the synthesis of new materials to be applied as ion sensitive membranes. Several metal oxides or nitrides that have been used as pH sensitive membranes have presented the expected response [710]. In fact, nanoscale metal oxides can improve the fundamental properties of materials and the performance of devices due to new physical and chemical properties. Recently, one-dimensional (1D) nanostructured materials such as nanowires, nanoribbons and nanotubes have attracted much interest due to their improved properties when compared to similar isotropic nanostructures [1113].

Vanadium pentoxide (V2O5), which possesses particularly interesting physical and chemical properties, has been employed in technological applications as catalytic material [14], in electrochromic devices [15], as battery cathode material [16], and in sensors [1719]. Several strategies have been developed to obtain 1D V2O5 nanostructures. For example, Avansi et al. recently reported an environmentally correct, one-step hydrothermal route for the synthesis of V2O5·n H2O nanostructures with controlled morphology and crystalline structure [20].

Combining SEGFET devices and V2O5·n H2O nanostructures, field-effect sensors can be constructed in a simple and low-cost way. In this context of technological applications, we report on the use of 1D V2O5·n H2O nanostructures obtained by a hydrothermal method as pH sensitive membranes in a SEGFET device, which was constructed based on van der Spiegel’s concept [5].

Methods

The V2O5·n H2O nanostructures were synthesized by a hydrothermal method which is described in detail elsewhere [20]. Briefly, this procedure involves dissolving V2O5 micrometric powder (Alfa Aesar, Ward Hill, MA, USA; 99.995% purity) in deionized water, adding hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and treating the mixture hydrothermally. Different V2O5·n H2O 1D nanostructures were obtained by applying the hydrothermal treatment at different temperatures in the same time of synthesis (24 h) [20].

The crystalline phase of the as-obtained samples was investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) using a Shimadzu XRD 6000 diffractometer (Shimadzu Corporation, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan) with Cu (λ = 1.5406) radiation. The size and morphology of the as-obtained samples were determined using a Zeiss VP Supra 35 field emission scanning transmission electron microscope (FE-STEM; Carl Zeiss AG, Oberkochen, Germany).

The as-obtained samples were deposited onto Au-coated substrates by spin coating and connected to the input pin of a LF356 JFET operational amplifier, used here as a unity gain buffer. A silver/silver chloride (Ag/AgCl) reference electrode was used to keep the voltage constant. Figure 1 shows a schematic diagram of the SEGFET.
https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1556-276X-7-310/MediaObjects/11671_2012_Article_961_Fig1_HTML.jpg
Figure 1

Schematic diagram of the SEGFET configuration. The electronic diagram of LF356 operational amplifier is shown.

Results and discussion

The diffractograms in Figure 2 confirm the expected crystalline phase in all the samples under study, i.e., monoclinic phase in the samples synthesized at 160°C and orthorhombic phase in those synthesized at 180°C and 200°C [20].
https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1556-276X-7-310/MediaObjects/11671_2012_Article_961_Fig2_HTML.jpg
Figure 2

XRD diffractograms of the samples synthesized by the hydrothermal route. (a) Nanoribbon at 160°C, (b) nanowire at 180°C and (c) nanorod at 200°C.

The bright field scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) images shown in Figure 3 confirm the morphology of the resulting nanostructures. As expected, different nanostructures were obtained. The samples synthesized at 160°C show a nanoribbon-like morphology (Figure 3a), while samples synthesized at 180°C and 200°C present, respectively, nanowire-like (Figure 3b) and nanorod-like (Figure 3c) morphologies [20].
https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1556-276X-7-310/MediaObjects/11671_2012_Article_961_Fig3_HTML.jpg
Figure 3

FE-STEM images of a 1D V 2 O 5 . n H 2 O nanostructures synthesized. (a) 160°C, (b) 180°C and (c) 200°C.

SEGFET devices have been used as an alternative to conventional ISFET to isolate FET from analytical chemical environments and have presented the same operational characteristics [4, 6, 9, 18]. The robustness and flexibility of the gate in SEGFET devices allow for the combination and testing of new materials that can sense pH easily. In addition, the commercial high-input impedance device (FET part) in SEGFET sensors can be reused, since only the extended gate membrane has to be built [4, 6, 9, 18].

The 1D V2O5·n H2O nanostructures deposited on Au-coated substrates were immersed in buffer solutions with different pH (pH from 2 to 12), and the output voltage of the operational amplifier was recorded over time. Figure 4a shows the dynamic response of all 1D V2O5·n H2O nanostructures to pH variations. Despite the structural changes due to the conditions of hydrothermal synthesis, the V2O5·n H2O synthesized at 160°C (in nanoribbon form with monoclinic phase) and at 180°C (in nanowire form with orthorhombic phase) yielded similar results. The pH sensitivity of the 1D V2O5·n H2O nanostructures was determined based on the output voltage at 3 min. Within the limits of experimental error, the sensitivity did not change in any of the V2O5·n H2O morphologies, indicating that the pH sensitivity is independent of the phase or nanostructure, as indicated in the inset in Figure 4b.
https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1556-276X-7-310/MediaObjects/11671_2012_Article_961_Fig4_HTML.jpg
Figure 4

Dynamic response of all 1D V 2 O 5 · n H 2 O nanostructures to pH variations. (a) Typical dynamic response of 1D V2O5·n H2O nanostructured sensing membranes to variations in pH and (b) pH sensitivity calculated at 3 min. Inset: pH sensitivity of 1D V2O5·n H2O nanostructures as a function of hydrothermal synthesis temperature.

The mechanism of pH sensitivity is due to the amphoteric properties of the majority of metal oxides and can be explained by the well-known site-binding model [21, 22]. According to this model, the surface of V2O5·n H2O nanostructures contains three sites, i.e., negatively charged groups, neutral groups and positively charged groups. The total surface charge can be altered by the formation of metal complexes on the surface of V2O5·n H2O nanostructures according to the following equation [21, 22]:
ψ = 2 ,3k T q β β + 1 ( pH pzc -  pH )
(1)

where pHpzc is the pH value at the point of zero charge, q is the elementary charge, k is the Boltzmann constant, T is the absolute temperature, and β is a factor that reflects the chemical sensitivity of the gate material. Modifications in the pH of the electrolyte cause changes in the concentration of protons, allowing for control of the output signal of SEGFET devices. The site-binding model is consistent with the experimental results, indicating that the value of β is the same for any V2O5·n H2O morphologies.

The pH sensitivity of 1D V2O5·n H2O nanostructures is consistent with the theoretical Nernstian value expected for pH-sensitive materials (59.2 mV.pH^−1) and in excellent agreement with values reported for other metal oxide pH-sensing membranes [610]. In addition, due to this property, 1D V2O5·n H2O nanostructures can be applied as field-effect based biosensors, since the biomolecule-catalyzed reaction changes the ion concentration in solution, as suggested in the literature [23].

Conclusions

In summary, we have reported the results of an investigation of vanadium pentoxide nanostructures as sensitive material in SEGFET pH sensors. The use of the hydrothermal route combined with FET-based sensors yielded nanometric pH-sensitive materials. 1D V2O5·n H2O nanostructures showed pH sensitivity close to the theoretical value. Despite the influence of the synthesis temperature on the morphological and structural properties of the material, its pH sensitivity remained unaffected, as expected. Our strategy shows potential advantages for the construction of low-cost pH sensing membranes with promising applications in field effect-based biosensors.

Declarations

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge CAPES, CNPq and FAPESP for their financial support of this research.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Departamento de Física e Ciências dos Materiais, Instituto de Física de São Carlos, Universidade de São Paulo
(2)
Departamento de Físico-Química, Instituto de Química de Araraquara, Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho
(3)
Embrapa, Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisas Agropecuárias

References

  1. Bergveld P: Thirty years of ISFETOLOGY - what happened in the past 30 years and what may happen in the next 30 years. Sensor Actuat B-Chem 2003, 88: 1–20. 10.1016/S0925-4005(02)00301-5View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  2. Spelthahn H, Schaffrath S, Coppe T, Rufi F, Schöning MJ: Development of an electrolyte–insulator–semiconductor (EIS) based capacitive heavy metal sensor for the detection of Pb2+ and Cd2+ ions. physica status solidi (a) 2010, 207: 930–934. 10.1002/pssa.200983306View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  3. Siqueira JR, Bäcker M, Poghossian A, Zucolotto V, Oliveira ON, Schöning MJ: Associating biosensing properties with the morphological structure of multilayers containing carbon nanotubes on field-effect devices. physica status solidi (a) 2010, 207: 781–786. 10.1002/pssa.200983301View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  4. Fernandes EGR, Vieira NCS, de Queiroz AAA, Guimarães FEG, Zucolotto V: Immobilization of poly(propylene imine) dendrimer/nickel phtalocyanine as nanostructured multilayer films to be used as gate membranes for SEGFET pH sensors. J Phys Chem C 2010, 114: 6478–6483. 10.1021/jp9106052View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  5. van der Spiegel J, Lauks I, Chan P, Babic D: The extended gate chemically sensitive field-effect transistor as multi-species microprobe. Sensors and Actuators 1983, 4: 291–298.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  6. Chi LL, Chou JC, Chung WY, Sun TP, Hsiung SK: Study on extended gate field effect transistor with tin oxide sensing membrane. Mater Chem Phys 2000, 63: 19–23. 10.1016/S0254-0584(99)00184-4View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  7. Lin JL, Chu YM, Hsaio SH, Chin YL, Sun TP: Structures of anodized aluminum oxide extended-gate field-effect transistors on pH sensors. Jpn J Appl Phys 1 2006, 45: 7999–8004.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  8. Buniatyan VV, Abouzar MH, Martirosyan NW, Schubert J, Gevorgian S, Schoning MJ, Poghossian A: pH-sensitive properties of barium strontium titanate (BST) thin films prepared by pulsed laser deposition technique. Phys Status Solidi A-Appl Mat 2010, 207: 824–830. 10.1002/pssa.200983310View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  9. Batista P, Mulato M: Polycrystalline fluorine-doped tin oxide as sensoring thin film in EGFET pH sensor. J Mater Sci 2010, 45: 5478–5481. 10.1007/s10853-010-4603-4View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  10. Liao YH, Chou JC: Fabrication and characterization of a ruthenium nitride membrane for electrochemical pH sensors. Sensors 2009, 9: 2478–2490. 10.3390/s90402478View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  11. Wang X, Li YD: Solution-based synthetic strategies for 1-D nanostructures. Inorg Chem 2006, 45: 7522–7534. 10.1021/ic051885oView ArticleGoogle Scholar
  12. Cademartiri L, Ozin GA: Ultrathin nanowires - a materials chemistry perspective. Adv Mater 2009, 21: 1013–1020. 10.1002/adma.200801836View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  13. Barth S, Hernandez-Ramirez F, Holmes JD, Romano-Rodriguez A: Synthesis and applications of one-dimensional semiconductors. Prog Mater Sci 2010, 55: 563–627. 10.1016/j.pmatsci.2010.02.001View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  14. Karunakaran C, Senthilvelan S: Vanadia-catalyzed solar photooxidation of aniline. J Colloid Interface Sci 2005, 289: 466–471. 10.1016/j.jcis.2005.03.071View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  15. Wang Z, Chen J, Hu X: Electrochromic properties of aqueous sol–gel derived vanadium oxide films with different thickness. Thin Solid Films 2000, 375: 238–241. 10.1016/S0040-6090(00)01335-3View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  16. Wang Y, Cao G: Developments in nanostructured cathode materials for high-performance lithium-ion batteries. Adv Mater 2008, 20: 2251–2269. 10.1002/adma.200702242View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  17. Liu J, Wang X, Peng Q, Li Y: Vanadium pentoxide nanobelts: highly selective and stable ethanol sensor materials. Adv Mater 2005, 17: 764–767. 10.1002/adma.200400993View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  18. Guerra EM, Silva GR, Mulato M: Extended gate field effect transistor using V2O5 xerogel sensing membrane by sol–gel method. Solid State Sci 2009, 11: 456–460. 10.1016/j.solidstatesciences.2008.07.014View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  19. Mai L, Xu L, Gao Q, Han C, Hu B, Pi Y: Single β-AgVO3 nanowire H2S sensor. Nano Letters 2010, 10: 2604–2608. 10.1021/nl1013184View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  20. Avansi W, Ribeiro C, Leite ER, Mastelaro VR: Vanadium pentoxide nanostructures: an effective control of morphology and crystal structure in hydrothermal conditions. Crystal Growth & Design 2009, 9: 3626–3631. 10.1021/cg900373fView ArticleGoogle Scholar
  21. Yates DE, Levine S, Healy TW: Site-binding model of electrical double-layer at oxide-water interface. Journal of the Chemical Society-Faraday Transactions I 1974, 70: 1807–1818.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  22. Fung CD, Cheung PW, Ko WH: A generalized theory of an electrolyte-insulator-semiconductor field-effect transistor. Electron Devices, IEEE Transactions on 1986, 33: 8–18.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  23. Schoning MJ, Poghossian A: Recent advances in biologically sensitive field-effect transistors (BioFETs). Analyst 2002, 127: 1137–1151. 10.1039/b204444gView ArticleGoogle Scholar

Copyright

© Vieira et al.; licensee Springer. 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.