Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Two-Dimensional (2D) Material-Based Field-Effect Transistor (2D-FET) Sensors for Real-Time Quantification of Biological and Chemical Molecules

Technology #6781

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Xiaogan Liang
Managed By
Joohee Kim
Licensing Specialist, Physical Sciences & Engineering 734.764.8202
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending

Background The invention disclosure reports a 2D-material-based field-effect transistor (2D-FET) sensor capable of detecting target biological/chemical molecules in the real-time mode with very low detection limits (fM-level detection limits). The use of multiple such sensors exhibit highly consistent calibrated responses with respect to target molecule concentrations. This is essential to obtain reliable standard curves for analyte quantification, from which the important affinity properties of various molecules of interest can be extracted and quantified. Furthermore, the invented 2D-FET sensors can monitor/measure the time- dependent binding kinetics of the analyte-receptor reaction. This real-time detection capability, coupled with the high sensitivity, low detection limit, and high device-to-device consistency of our 2D-FET sensors, can result in significantly reduced sensor response (or lapsed) times as well as bio/chemical-assay times.

2D-FET Biosensors The invention under consideration involves the use of atomically thin, two-dimensional, ultrasensitive semiconductor material for sensing target biological/chemical molecules in the real-time mode with very low detection limits (fM-level detection limits). The biosensors under consideration involve the use of semiconductor materials as they have relatively large and uniform band gap (1.2-1.8 eV, depending on the number of layers) that significantly reduces the leakage current and increases the abruptness of the turn-on behavior of the FETs, thereby increasing the sensitivity of the biosensor. The unique ambipolar transport properties (e.g., mobility, threshold voltage, and transconductance) of the 2D-layer FETs sensors make them very sensitive to antibody-mediated binding events due to prominent conductance changes, therefore resulting in very high biodetection sensitivities. Furthermore, the extremely low density of surface dangling bonds (or scattering centers) and can be used for making low-noise sensing FET channels, superior to those based on 3D nanostructures (e.g., Si NWs) or chemically-derived 2D films (e.g., rGOs). This can result in very low detection limits (10fM–1pM for cytokine).

2D-FET Biosensors


  • immunoassay tools
  • disease prevention
  • cancer diagnostics
  • dangerous gas sensing point-of-care medical applications


  • Due to their unique atomically thin channel structure and their transport properties, 2D-FETs sensors exhibit very high biodetection sensitivities.
  • Low density of surface dangling bonds (or scattering centers) eliminate background noise.
  • Low-cost manufacturing of large biosensor arrays;
  • Label-free bioanalysis capability allows continuous acquisition of signals to provides time-course information of the binding event of analyte biomolecules.
  • High sensitivity and label free analysis significantly reduce assay time.