Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Stephen E. Saddow

Co-Major Professor

Mark J. Jaroszeski


biocompatibility, Biosensor, impedance spectroscopy, self-assembled monolayers, silicon carbide


Silicon carbide (SiC) has been around for more than 100 years as an industrial material and has found wide and varied applications because of its unique electrical and thermal properties. In recent years there has been increased attention on SiC as a viable material for biomedical applications. Among these applications are those where SiC is used as a substrate material for biosensors and biotransducers, taking advantage of its surface chemical, tribological and electrical properties.

In this work we have used the proven bio- and hema-compatibility of SiC to develop a viable biorecognition interface using SiC as the substrate material for myocardial infarction detection. The approach followed included the development of an electrochemical-based sensor in which 3C-SiC is used as the active electrode and where flat band potential energy changes are monitored after successive modification of the SiC with aminopropyltriethoxysilane, anti-myoglobin and myoglobin incubation.

We have studied the quality of self assembled monolayers obtained by surface modification of SiC using organosilanes such as aminopropyltriethoxysilane and octadecene, which is the starting point for the immobilization of cells or proteins on a substrate. We employed this technique on 6H-SiC where we were able to control the proliferation of H4 human neuroglioma and PC12 rat pheochromocytoma cells in vitro. Finally, aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) was successfully used to immobilize anti-myoglobin on the 3C-SiC electrodes as demonstrated by fluorescence microscopy results. The electrical characterization of the surfaces was performed via impedance spectroscopy and by measuring changes in flat band potential using the Mott-Schottky plot technique.

Changes in flat band and impedance of the SiC/antibody/protein interface would allow us to detect changes in the space charge region of the semiconductor. However, we believe that because of the presence of surface states and different crystal defects on the 3C-SiC we did not observed repeatable results that allowed us to identify the presence of myoglobin in solution. In addition, certain modifications need to be performed to the electrochemical cell in order to confirm the presence of the myoglobin immobilized on the functionalized SiC surfaces.