Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2013

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



The Extraordinary Electroconductance (EEC) sensor has been previously demonstrated to have an electric field sensitivity of 3.05V/cm in a mesoscopic-scale structure fabricated at the center of a parallel plate capacitor. In this thesis, we demonstrate the first successful application of EEC sensors as electrochemical detectors of protein binding and biological molecule concentration. Using the avidin derivative, captavidin, in complex with the vitamin biotin, the change in four-point measured resistance with fluid protein concentration of bare EEC sensors was shown to increase by a factor of four in the presence of biomolecular binding as compared to baseline. Calculations for approximate field strengths introduced by a bound captavidin molecule are also presented.

The development of Inverse-Extraordinary Optoconductance (I-EOC), an effect which occurs in nanoscale sensors, is also discussed. In the I-EOC effect, electron transport transitions from ballistic to diffusive with increasing light intensity. In these novel, room temperature optical detectors, the resistance is low at low light intensity and resistance increases by 9462% in a 250nm device mesa upon full illumination with a 5 mW HeNe laser. This is the inverse of bulk and mesoscopic device behavior, in which resistance decreases with increasing photon density.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Stuart A. Solin

Committee Members

Tyrone L. Daulton, Viktor Gruev, Zohar Nussinov, James S. Schilling, Jung-Tsung Shen


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