Pillared graphene as an ultra-high sensitivity mass sensor

K Duan and L Li and YJ Hu and XL Wang, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 7, 14012 (2017).

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-14182-6

Hybrid structure of graphene sheets supported by carbon nanotubes (CNTs) sustains unique properties of both graphene and CNTs, which enables the utilization of advantages of the two novel materials. In this work, the capability of three-dimensional pillared graphene structure used as nanomechanical sensors is investigated by performing molecular dynamics simulations. The obtained results demonstrate that: (a) the mass sensitivity of the pillared graphene structure is ultrahigh and can reach at least 1 yg (10(-24) g) with a mass responsivity 0.34 GHz . yg(-1); (b) the sizes of pillared graphene structure, particularly the distance between carbon nanotube pillars, have a significant effect on the sensing performance; (c) an analytical expression can be derived to detect the deposited mass from the resonant frequency of the pillared graphene structure. The performed analyses might be significant to future design and application of pillared graphene based sensors with high sensitivity and large detecting area.

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