Double-Side-Coated Nanomechanical Membrane-Type Surface Stress Sensor (MSS) for One-Chip-One-Channel Setup
With their capability for real-time and label-free detection of targets ranging from gases to biological molecules, nanomechanical sensors are expected to contribute to various fields, such as medicine, security, and environmental science. For practical applications, one of the major issues of nanomechanical sensors is the difficulty of coating receptor layers on their surfaces to which target molecules adsorb or react. To have measurable deflection, a single-side coating is commonly applied to cantilever-type geometry, and it requires specific methods or protocols, such as inkjet spotting or gold-thiol chemistry. If we can apply a double-side coating to nanomechanical sensors, it allows almost any kind of coating technique including dip coating methods, making nanomechanical sensors more useful with better user experiences. Here we address the feasibility of the double-side coating on nanomechanical sensors demonstrated by a membrane-type surface stress sensor (MSS) and verify its working principle by both finite element analysis (FEA) and experiments. In addition, simple hand-operated dip coating is demonstrated as a proof of concept, achieving practical receptor layers without any complex instrumentation. Because the double-side coating is compatible with batch protocols such as dip coating, double-side-coated MSS represents a new paradigm of one-chip one-channel (channels on a chip are all coated with the same receptor layers) shifting from the conventional one-chip multiple-channel (channels on a chip are coated with different receptor layers) paradigm.