An ISFET is an ion-sensitive field effect transistor used to measure ion concentrations in solution; when the ion concentration (such as pH) changes, the current through the transistor will change accordingly. Here, the solution is used as the gate electrode. A voltage between substrate and oxide surfaces arises due to an ions sheath.
The surface hydrolyzation of OH groups of the gate materials varies in aqueous solutions due to pH value. Typical gate materials are Si3N4, Al2O3 and Ta2O5.
An ISFET's source and drain are constructed as for a MOSFET. The gate electrode is separated from the channel by a barrier which is sensitive to hydrogen ions and a gap to allow the substance under test to come in contact with the sensitive barrier. An ISFET's threshold voltage depends on the pH of the substance in contact with its ion-sensitive barrier.
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