Nanosensors: Physical, Chemical, and Biological, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover


Physical, Chemical, and Biological, 1st Edition

By Vinod Kumar Khanna

CRC Press

666 pages | 179 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2011-10-26
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Bringing together widely scattered information, Nanosensors: Physical, Chemical, and Biological explores sensor development in the nanotechnology age. This easy-to-read book presents a critical appraisal of the new opportunities in the area of sensors provided by nanotechnologies and nanotechnology-enabled advancements.

After introducing nanosensor classification and fundamental terms, the book outlines the properties of important nanomaterials and nanotechnologies used in nanosensor fabrication. Subsequent chapters are organized according to nanosensor type: physical (mechanical and acoustical, thermal and radiation, optical, and magnetic); chemical (atomic and molecular energies); and biological. The final chapter summarizes the current state of the field and discusses future trends.

A complete and authoritative guide to nanosensors, this book offers up-to-date information on the fabrication, properties, and operating mechanisms of these fast and reliable sensors. It addresses progress in the field, fundamental issues and challenges facing researchers, and prospects for future development.


Khanna gathers and critically appraises research findings reflecting the impact of nanotechnology on sensors. He writes in a question-answer format, and acknowledges the interdisciplinary nature of nanotechnology by assuming no advanced knowledge in any particular field.

—SciTech News, Vol. 66, September 2012

With the burgeoning interest in sensor technology, students new to the field will find some part of this book as a readable and enjoyable introduction.

—Peter J. Dobson, Contemporary Physics, July 2012

Overviewing this highly interdisciplinary, fast-moving field in a format accessible to scientists from different disciplines is very challenging, but Nanosensors: Physical, Chemical, and Biological successfully achieves this challenge. … a complete and authoritative guide to nanosensors … The clear definitions, well-explained mathematical formulae, and well-designed illustrations make the book very easy to understand … provides the reader with a very good understanding of the fundamental issues, challenges and recent progress in the field of nanosensors. … a very good reference for scientists from different fields … a very stimulating read thanks to the numerous question-and-answer sections. This is a recommended title for physicists, chemists, biologists working with sensors, or for any scientist or engineer with an interest in nanotechnology.

—Iulia Georgescu,, March 2012

The book has some significant strengths. Among them are its comprehensive coverage and its use of illustrative calculations to enhance the more descriptive sections. The depth of presentation ranges from the basic high school level to discussions of recent research literature. The book’s most likely beneficiaries are researchers in either sensor technology or nanotechnology who want to see how the two fields complement each other and can be combined in new and interesting ways to tackle important applications

—Tony Cass, Physics Today, March 2012

Table of Contents

Introduction to Nanosensors

Getting Started with Nanosensors

Natural Sciences




Semiconductor Electronics

Nanometer and Appreciation of Its Magnitude

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Nanomaterials and the Unusual Behavior at Nanoscales

Moving toward Sensors and Transducers: Meaning of Terms "Sensors" and "Transducers"

Definition of Sensor Parameters and Characteristics

Evolution of Semiconductor-Based Microsensors

From Macrosensor to Microsensor Age and Necessity of Nanoscale Measurements

Definition and Classification of Nanosensors

Physical, Chemical, and Biological Nanosensors

Some Examples of Nanosensors

Getting Familiar with Analytical and Characterization Tools: Microscopic Techniques to View Nanomaterials and Nanosensors

Spectroscopic Techniques for Analyzing Chemical Composition of Nanomaterials and Nanosensors

The Displacement Nanosensor: STM

The Force Nanosensor: AFM

Outline and Organization of the Book

Discussion and Conclusions

Materials for Nanosensors


Nanoparticles or Nanoscale Particles, and Importance of the Intermediate Regime between Atoms and Molecules, and Bulk Matter

Classification of Nanoparticles on the Basis of Their Composition and Occurrence

Core/Shell-Structured Nanoparticles

Shape Dependence of Properties at Nanoscale

Dependence of Properties of Nanoparticles on Particle Size

Surface Energy of a Solid

Metallic Nanoparticles and Plasmons

Optical Properties of Bulk Metals and Metallic Nanoparticles

Parameters Controlling the Position of Surface Plasmon Band of Nanoparticles

Quantum Confinement

Quantum Dots

Carbon Nanotubes

Inorganic Nanowires

Nanoporous Materials

Discussion and Conclusions

Nanosensor Laboratory


Nanotechnology Division

Micro- and Nanoelectronics Division

MEMS and NEMS Division

Biochemistry Division

Chemistry Division

Nanosensor Characterization Division

Nanosensor Powering, Signal Processing, and Communication Division

Discussion and Conclusions

Mechanical Nanosensors


Nanogram Mass Sensing by Quartz Crystal Microbalance

Attogram (10−18 g) and Zeptogram (10−21 g) Mass Sensing by MEMS/NEMS Resonators

Electron Tunneling Displacement Nanosensor

Coulomb Blockade Electrometer-Based Displacement Nanosensor

Nanometer-Scale Displacement Sensing by Single-Electron Transistor

Magnetomotive Displacement Nanosensor

Piezoresistive and Piezoelectric Displacement Nanosensors

Optical Displacement Nanosensor

Femtonewton Force Sensors Using Doubly Clamped Suspended Carbon Nanotube Resonators

Suspended CNT Electromechanical Sensors for Displacement and Force

Membrane-Based CNT Electromechanical Pressure Sensor

Tunnel Effect Accelerometer

NEMS Accelerometer

Silicon Nanowire Accelerometer

CNT Flow Sensor for Ionic Solutions

Discussion and Conclusions

Thermal Nanosensors


Nanoscale Thermocouple Formed by Tungsten and Platinum Nanosize Strips

Resistive Thermal Nanosensor Fabricated by Focused Ion Beam Chemical Vapor Deposition

"Carbon-Nanowire-on-Diamond" Resistive Temperature Nanosensor

Carbon Nanotube Grown on Nickel Film as Resistive Low-Temperature (10–300 K) Nanosensor

Laterally Grown CNT between Two Microelectrodes as Resistive Temperature Nanosensor

Silicon Nanowire Temperature Nanosensors: Resistors and Diode Structures

Ratiometric Fluorescent Nanoparticles for Temperature Sensing

Er3+/Yb3+ Co-Doped Gd2O3 Nano-Phosphor as Temperature Nanosensor Using Fluorescence Intensity Ratio Technique

Optical Heating of Yb3+–Er3+ Co-Doped Fluoride Nanoparticles and Distant Temperature Sensing through Luminescence

Porphyrin-Containing Copolymer as Thermochromic Nanosensor

Silicon-Micromachined Scanning Thermal Profiler

Superconducting Hot Electron Nanobolometers

Thermal Convective Accelerometer Using CNT Sensing Element

SWCNT Sensor for Airflow Measurement

Vacuum Pressure and Flow Velocity Sensors Using Batch-Processed CNT Wall

Nanogap Pirani Gauge

Carbon Nanotube–Polymer Nanocomposite as Conductivity Response Infrared Nanosensor


Discussion and Conclusions

Optical Nanosensors


Noble-Metal Nanoparticles with LSPR and UV–Visible Spectroscopy

Nanosensors Based on Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering

Colloidal SPR Colorimetric Gold Nanoparticle Spectrophotometric Sensor

Fiber-Optic Nanosensors

Nanograting-Based Optical Accelerometer

Fluorescent pH-Sensitive Nanosensors

Disadvantages of Optical Fiber and Fluorescent Nanosensors for Living Cell Studies

PEBBLE Nanosensors to Measure the Intracellular Environment

Quantum Dots as Fluorescent Labels

Quantum Dot FRET-Based Probes

Electrochemiluminescent Nanosensors for Remote Detection

Crossed Zinc Oxide Nanorods as Resistive UV Nanosensors

Discussion and Conclusions

Magnetic Nanosensors


Magnetoresistance Sensors

Tunneling Magnetoresistance

Limitations, Advantages, and Applications of GMR and TMR Sensors

Magnetic Nanoparticle Probes for Studying Molecular Interactions

Protease-Specific Nanosensors for MRI

Magnetic Relaxation Switch Immunosensors

Magneto Nanosensor Microarray Biochip

Needle-Type SV-GMR Sensor for Biomedical Applications

Superconductive Magnetic Nanosensor

Electron Tunneling-Based Magnetic Field Sensor

Nanowire Magnetic Compass and Position Sensor

Discussion and Conclusions



Nanoparticle-Based Electrochemical Biosensors

CNT-Based Electrochemical Biosensors

Functionalization of CNTs for Biosensor Fabrication

Quantum Dot-Based Electrochemical Biosensors

Nanotube- and Nanowire-Based FET Nanobiosensors

Cantilever-Based Nanobiosensors

Optical Nanobiosensors

Biochips (or Microarrays)

Discussion and Conclusions

Chemical Nanosensors


Gas Sensors Based on Nanomaterials

Metallic Nanoparticle-Based Gas Sensors

Metal Oxide Gas Sensors

Carbon Nanotube Gas Sensors

Porous Silicon-Based Gas Sensor

Thin Organic Polymer Film–Based Gas Sensors

Electrospun Polymer Nanofibers as Humidity Sensors

Toward Large Nanosensor Arrays and Nanoelectronic Nose

CNT-, Nanowire-, and Nanobelt-Based Chemical Nanosensors

Optochemical Nanosensors

Discussion and Conclusions

Future Trends of Nanosensors


Scanning Tunneling Microscope

Atomic Force Microscope

Mechanical Nanosensors

Thermal Nanosensors

Optical Nanosensors

Magnetic Nanosensors


Chemical Nanosensors

Nanosensor Fabrication Aspects

In Vivo Nanosensor Problems

Molecularly Imprinted Polymers for Biosensors

Interfacing Issues for Nanosensors: Power Consumption and Sample Delivery Problems

Depletion-Mediated Piezoelectric Actuation for NEMS

Discussion and Conclusions


Review Exercises and References appear at the end of each chapter.

About the Author

Vinod Kumar Khanna is chief scientist and head of the MEMS and Microsensors Group at CSIR-CEERI, where he has worked for over 30 years on the design, fabrication, and characterization of various solid-state devices. A fellow of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (India), Dr. Khanna is also a life member of the Indian Physics Association, the Semiconductor Society (India), and the Indo-French Technical Association. His research interests include power semiconductor devices, MEMS, and microsensors.

About the Series

Series in Sensors

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Physics