pH-dependent adsorption of Au nanoparticles on chemically modified Si3N4 MEMS devices

Christopher Hamlett, PT Docker, Michael Ward, Philip Prewett, K Critchley, SD Evans, Jon Preece

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are devices that represent the integration of mechanical and electrical components in the micrometer regime. Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) can be used to functionalise the surface of MEMS resonators in order to fabricate chemically specific mass sensing devices. The work carried out in this article uses atomic force microscopy (AFM) and X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS) data to investigate the pH-dependent adsorption of citrate-passivated Au nanoparticles to amino-terminated Si3N4 surfaces. AFM, XPS and mass adsorption experiments, using 'flap' type resonators, show that the maximum adsorption of nanoparticles takes place at pH = 5. The mass adsorption data, obtained using amino functionalised 'flap' type MEMS resonators, shows maximum adsorption of the Au nanoparticles at pH = 5 which is in agreement with the AFM and XPS data, which demonstrates the potential of such a device as a pH responsive nanoparticle detector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-157
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Nanoscience
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • sensors
  • gold nanoparticles
  • MEMS
  • pH-dependent adsorption


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