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Diamond-based Resonators for Chemical Detection

Diamond materials feature a wide range of outstanding chemical and physical properties, which have interested scientists over the years. The oldest applications of diamond are certainly related to its mechanical properties, in particular its hardness, which has facilitated its use for cutting and polishing, and in drilling tools. The chemical resilience of diamond associated with its interesting semiconducting properties has also been exploited for the development of radiation detectors. In this chapter we focus on chemical or biochemical sensing applications. Here, the extreme properties of diamond, being chemical, electrochemical, optical, acoustic, and so forth, have more recently prompted excitement for the development of innovative sensors. The various forms of diamond, from particles at the nanoscale to bulk single crystals, exhibit real potential to enhance both the sensing performance of the devices and their robustness, as well as their reliability in field-operating conditions. A wide range of diamond-based chemical sensors have been reported in the form of solid state semiconductor sensors, field effect transistors, electrodes, etc. both in the gas phase and in the liquid phase. Such sensors have found various applications in environmental monitoring, security and medical diagnostics. Two types of transducer technologies, namely acoustic wave devices and cantilevers, are particularly interesting because they offer the possibility of high sensitivity detection of a wide range of analytes at a potentially low cost with a high level of miniaturisation. This chapter gives an insight into how these technologies may benefit from the exceptional assets of diamond materials through a few examples, ranging from DNA detection to artificial olfaction.

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18 Mar 2014
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