Nanotechnology can enable a new generation of sensor systems due to the potentially unique and advantageous properties of these materials. In particular, the properties of nanostructures such as nanowires, nanofibers, nanorods, and nanoribbons are now being investigated to enable new sensing material properties and approaches. In order to achieve the potential of nanotechnology, basic and fundamental capabilities are needed in order to produce and evaluate sensor systems based on these materials. These include the ability to reproducibly fabricate sensors, understand the material properties, and determine their sensing mechanisms. However, the very nature of these materials makes the use of traditional sensor fabrication and characterization techniques, such as those used for microsystems, problematic. This chapter describes the challenges associated with the reproducible fabrication of nanostructures into microsensor systems; characterization of the basic properties of a nanowire; and investigations into the sensing mechanism of nanostructures of different crystal structure. These examples suggest that the transition from microsystem technology into those based on nanostructures involve a series of basic challenges beyond that seen in macroscopic materials. However, if these challenges can be met, the advent of nanotechnology into sensor systems enables the possibility of new sensor systems significantly changing how measurements are done. New sensor systems that can be enabled by nanotechnology, such as "Lick and Stick" smart sensor systems, are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)