PH Sensing Using Ion Sensitive Field Effect Transistors: Undergraduate Laboratory Experiment

  • Colin Beswick McMaster University


An ion-sensitive field effect transistor is a still-developing technology in the biomedical field, having exciting lab-on-a-chip applications. Acting similar to a MOSFET, the ISFET can change electrical properties based on the pH of the liquid being sensed. Bringing this technology to undergraduate students, allowing them to design and test these devices themselves is outlined in this paper. This allows students hands-on experience with state-of-the-art technology, and practical experience that transitions smoothly with industry practices. Succesful students in this laboratory will have extended their theoretical knowledge into physical form, learning about practical constraints and testing protocols. This report follows an example group through the 12-week process.

Author Biography

Colin Beswick, McMaster University
Engineering Physics Undergraduate Student


C. S. Fatt, N. A. Bakar, N. A. Johari, M. N. Haron, N. S. M. Desa, and U. Hashim, “Design and Fabrication of n-ISFET using Si3N4 as a Sensing Membrane for pH Measurement,” Journal of Engineering and Technology, vol. 2, pp. 23–29, Jun. 2011.

M. Baylav, Ion-sensitive field effect transistor (ISFET) for MEMS multisensory chips at RIT. Rochester Institute of Technology, 2010.