Merging chemical and biological sensors with modern circuits and systems has the potential to push complex electronics into low-cost, portable detection platforms. This greatly simplifies system-level instrumentation and extends the reach of such technologies out of the lab and into the field. At the same time, the rapid evolution of MEMS and NEMS sensors has enabled jump-shift improvement in sensitivity and throughput, even as cost, size, and system complexity have decreased. In this talk, an emerging resonant sensor platform and developed applications will be discussed, and future research directions will be presented.
A drive toward label-free, array-based chemical and biological sensing has motivated the development of piezoelectric resonators on CMOS. We have established a method for monolithic fabrication of unreleased, low GHz, thin-film bulk acoustic resonators (FBAR) directly atop a custom CMOS substrate. This device is analogous to a quartz crystal microbalance, where selective analyte binding causes a proportional decrease in resonant frequency. I will present the design and implementation of the complete FBAR-CMOS array, as well as experimental results of volatile organic compound (VOC) quantification using polymer-coated sensors. I will also discuss ongoing efforts to extend this platform to a clinical application in radiation biodosimetry.
Matt Johnston received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 2005, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Columbia University in 2006 and 2012, respectively. He was a graduate student and postdoctoral research scientist in the Bioelectronic Systems Lab at Columbia University, and he currently works on biosensor platform development at Bialanx in New York City. Matt was previously co-founder and Head of Research at Helixis, a Caltech-based startup company developing low-cost, real-time PCR systems that was acquired by Illumina in 2010. Matt has also held internships with Cavium Networks and The Aerospace Corporation. His current research interests include emerging biosensors, bioelectronic interfaces, microfluidics, massively-parallel sensing, and lab-on-chip technologies for medical monitoring and point-of-care diagnostics.