▪ Abstract 

Metal-oxide nanowires can function as sensitive and selective chemical or biological sensors, which could potentially be massively multiplexed in devices of small size. The active nanowire sensor element in such devices can be configured either as resistors whose conductance is altered by charge-transfer processes occurring at their surfaces or as field-effect transistors whose properties can be controlled by applying an appropriate potential onto its gate. Functionalizing the surface of these entities offers yet another avenue for expanding their sensing capability. In turn, because charge exchange between an adsorbate and the nanowire can change the electron density in the nanowire, modifying the nanowire's carrier density by external means, such as applying a potential to the gate, could modify its surface chemical properties and perhaps change the rate and selectivity of catalytic processes occurring at its surface. Although research on the use of metal-oxide nanowires as sensors is still in early stages, several encouraging experiments have been reported that are interesting in their own right and indicative of a promising future.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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