Biosensors with nanotubes instead of semiconductors

Life Science Inkubator – Prof. Dr. Euginia Bezugly – SmartNanotubes, LSI Sachsen

Molekulare Röhren

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Beneficiary: Life Science Inkubator Sachsen GmbH & Co. KG
Funding: 01.04.2017 bis 31.03.2020, 1.994.178 Euro


Project description

Biosensors and computer chips are continually becoming smaller, but at the same time have to increase their performance. Conventional types of construction and materials are therefore reaching their limits, and an alternative to silicon-based semiconductors is in particular demand. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have structural and electronic properties that predestine them precisely for this application in the sensor and electronics market. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) as a special form of CNTs have already scored well in initial applications in the (bio)sensor technology sector.

However, a broad use of SWCNTs has so far been limited by the lack of grade purity in existing manufacturing processes. The process developed by the SmartNanotubes team as part of the Life Science Incubator overcomes exactly this hurdle: A novel technology for the synthesis of pure SWCNTs is to be established and optimized according to industrial requirements. The aim is to test these nanotubes in initial prototypical applications in biosensors, still on a laboratory scale. Within the framework of the project, the technology for the production of carbon nanotubes will be developed to such an extent that SWCNT products can be produced in sufficient quantities and of the highest quality for the market.

SmartNanotubes has been an incubation project at LSI Saxony co-financed by the BMBF since April 2017. After completion of this phase in March 2020, the foundation of an independent company is planned, which wants to establish itself as a key supplier for industrial customers from different branches of biosensorics, gas sensorics, nanomedicine and electronics.