Surface analytical characterization of Streptavidin/poly(3–hexylthiophene) bilayers for bio-electronic applications

M.C. Sportelli, R.A. Picca, K. Manoli, M. Re, E. Pesce, L. Tapfer, C. Di Franco, N. Cioffi, L. Torsi

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The analytical performance of bioelectronic devices is highly influenced by their fabrication methods. In particular, the final architecture of field-effect transistor biosensors combining spin-cast poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) film and a biomolecule interlayer deposited on a SiO2/Si substrate can lead to the development of highly performing sensing systems, such as for the case of streptavidin (SA) used for biotin sensing. To gain a better understanding of the quality of the interfacial area, critical is the assessment of the morphological features characteristic of the adopted biolayer deposition protocol, namely: the layer-by-layer (LbL) approach and the spin coating technique. The present study relies on a combined surface spectroscopic and morphological characterization. Specifically, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy operated in the parallel angle-resolved mode allowed the non-destructive investigation of the in-depth chemical composition of the SA film, alone or in the presence of the P3HT overlayer. Spectroscopic data were supported and corroborated by the results obtained with a Scanning Electron and a Helium Ion microscope investigation performed on the SA layer that provided relevant information on the protein structural arrangement or on its surface morphology. Clear differences emerged between the SA layers prepared by the two approaches, with the layer-by-layer deposition resulting in a smoother and better defined bio-electronic interface. Such findings support the superior analytical performance shown by bioelectronic devices based on LbL-deposited protein layers over spin coated ones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313 - 322
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

Cite this

Sportelli, M. C., Picca, R. A., Manoli, K., Re, M., Pesce, E., Tapfer, L., Di Franco, C., Cioffi, N., & Torsi, L. (2017). Surface analytical characterization of Streptavidin/poly(3–hexylthiophene) bilayers for bio-electronic applications. Applied Surface Science, 420, 313 - 322.