ZnO nanotip-based QCM biosensors

Zheng Zhang, Hanhong Chen, Jian Zhong, Ying Chen, Yicheng Lu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Scopus citations


The medical diagnostics laboratories are showing an urgent need for accurate, fast and inexpensive biosensors. A zinc oxide (ZnO) nanotip-based quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) sensor is developed as a solution for accurate and inexpensive biosensors. The QCM sensor composed of single crystalline ZnO nanotips grown on top of a gold electrode using metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) shows that the ZnO nanotips are uniformly aligned with their c-axis normal to the gold surface, giving a large surface area for sample up-taking. The ZnO nanotip coated QCM sensor shows a 10-time larger frequency shift than that of regular QCM sensors, when measuring the same DNA oligonucleotide (5'AGAAAATCTTAGTGTC-3') solution. In addition, the hydrophilic behaviors of the nanotip array significantly reduce the required liquid volume for effective detection. 0.5 μl solution fully covers the QCM sensor area (0.2047 cm2), while a minimum of 16 μl liquid is required to cover a flat surface of the conventional QCM. ZnO nanotips show superhydrophilicity with a contact angle of ∼0° under ultraviolet (UV) illumination. The superhydrophilic sensor surface significantly boosts the solution taking up ability; therefore, enhances the sensitivity of the QCM sensor. The effects of ZnO nanostructure on the bulk acoustic wave (BAW) are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2006 IEEE International Frequency Control Symposium and Exposition
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)1424400740, 9781424400744
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Event2006 IEEE International Frequency Control Symposium and Exposition - Miami, FL, United States
Duration: Jun 4 2006Jun 7 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE International Frequency Control Symposium and Exposition


Other2006 IEEE International Frequency Control Symposium and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMiami, FL

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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