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Diamond: a chemical sensor’s best friend!

Emmanuel Scorsone 1 
1 LCD-LIST - Laboratoire Capteurs Diamant
DM2I - Département Métrologie Instrumentation & Information : DRT/LIST/DM2I
Abstract : Diamond has been grown in some laboratories by either HPHT process or Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (MP-CVD) since a few decades. Single crystal diamond exhibits outstanding properties including a high optical transparency over a broad electromagnetic spectrum, high thermal conductivity approx. five times higher than copper, and acoustic wave velocity close to 19 000 m.s-1. It displays also remarkable mechanical properties with e.g. a Young’s modulus exceeding 1000 GPa along with high resistance to fracture, to name a few. Some of these properties remain also remarkable in its polycrystalline form when compare to most other materials. Furthermore, diamond can be doped e.g. with nitrogen or boron during growth, offering electrical properties from semiconducting to quasi-metallic regimes. When heavily doped with boron (~2.1021 cm-3), the so-called Boron Doped Diamond (BDD) electrodes become attractive electrodes featuring a high potential window > 3V in water and low double-layer capacitance. Moreover, diamond is extremely resilient to corrosion and more generally to chemical attacks. It is also biocompatible, which makes it very attractive for in-vivo sensing applications. Finally, the carbon nature of the diamond offers wide opportunities for surface grafting of chemical or biochemical functional groups through highly stable covalent carbon-carbon bonding. One can take advantage of these properties to enhance the analytical performances and stability of chemical/biochemical sensors and this has motivated our research over the last 15 years. Our work focuses mainly on polycrystalline diamond thin films that can be grown typically on 4 inches silicon substrates, thus offering access to some clean-room processes and potentially large-scale production. As examples, diamond based MEMS devices (microcantilevers, SAW sensors) take advantage both of the mechanical properties of diamond, along with steady carbon interface for convenient bio-functionalization. Our work here focused mainly on the detection of odorant molecules, using biomolecular receptors involved in olfaction in Nature as sensitive layers, including Odorant Binding Proteins (OBPs), Major Urinary Proteins (MUPs) and Olfactory Receptors (OR). Multisensor array instrumentations were developed around this concept, for applications ranging from breathe analysis to security applications. Beside, heavily doped diamond electrodes were developed successfully both as macro- and micro-electrodes for biomedical, pharmaceutical or foodstuff analysis applications. These applications benefit both from the high analytical performances of diamond electrodes in particular due to their low background signals and high reactivity, and high stability and reliability. BDD electrodes offer also significant advantages in electrochemiluminescence (ECL) techniques, which are being investigated for various applications ranging from foodstuff analysis to narcotics detection. A key benefit of BDD electrodes for all of the above applications is certainly that they can be electrochemically reactivated following fouling, sometimes directly in the analytical medium, to maintain high reactivity thus opening the way to reusable sensors and online monitoring.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 25, 2022 - 4:24:58 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, August 27, 2022 - 3:27:25 AM

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  • HAL Id : cea-03760848, version 1

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Emmanuel Scorsone. Diamond: a chemical sensor’s best friend!. 9th International Symposium on Sensor Science, Jun 2022, Warsaw, Poland. ⟨cea-03760848⟩

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