Flexible pH sensors based on polysilicon thin film transistors and ZnO nanowalls

L. Maiolo, S. Mirabella, F. Maita, A. Alberti, A. Minotti, V. Strano, A. Pecora, Y. Shacham-Diamand, G. Fortunato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A fully flexible pH sensor using nanoporous ZnO on extended gate thin film transistor (EGTFT) fabricated on polymeric substrate is demonstrated. The sensor adopts the Low Temperature Polycrystalline Silicon (LTPS) TFT technology for the active device, since it allows excellent electrical characteristics and good stability and opens the way towards the possibility of exploiting CMOS architectures in the future. The nanoporous ZnO sensitive film, consisting of very thin (20 nm) crystalline ZnO walls with a large surface-to-volume ratio, was chemically deposited at 90 °C, allowing simple process integration with conventional TFT micro-fabrication processes compatible with wide range of polymeric substrates. The pH sensor showed a near-ideal Nernstian response (∼59 mV/pH), indicating an ideality factor α ∼ 1 according to the conventional site binding model. The present results can pave the way to advanced flexible sensing systems, where sensors and local signal conditioning circuits will be integrated on the same flexible substrate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number093501
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014


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