Three-dimensional, flexible nanoscale field-effect transistors as localized bioprobes.
Nanoelectronic devices offer substantial potential for interrogating biological systems, although nearly all work has focused on planar device designs. We have overcome this limitation through synthetic integration of a nanoscale field-effect transistor (nanoFET) device at the tip of an acute-angle kinked silicon nanowire, where nanoscale connections are made by the arms of the kinked nanostructure, and remote multilayer interconnects allow three-dimensional (3D) probe presentation. The acute-angle probe geometry was designed and synthesized by controlling cis versus trans crystal conformations between adjacent kinks, and the nanoFET was localized through modulation doping. 3D nanoFET probes exhibited conductance and sensitivity in aqueous solution, independent of large mechanical deflections, and demonstrated high pH sensitivity. Additionally, 3D nanoprobes modified with phospholipid bilayers can enter single cells to allow robust recording of intracellular potentials.