Practical Model for Imperfect Conductometric Molecular Wire Sensors
We present a theoretical model for description of real polyreceptor molecular wire sensors (MWS), whose conductance signal may dramatically reduce upon analyte binding to one of the receptors coupled to the molecular wire but may not vanish as completely as assumed in the ideal MWS model. For the present nonideal MWS model, we establish the exact relationship between analyte concentration and the sensory signal intensity. It turns out that, whereas the Stern−Volmer curve of the ideal MWS always has a positive curvature, the Stern−Volmer curve of the imperfect MWS can have a negative curvature, consistent with experimental data. We find that the MWS still performs better than the corresponding ideal monoreceptor sensor, unless the nonideality of the imperfect MWS is egregiously large. We establish the conditions for the imperfect polyreceptor MWS to have a sensitivity and detection limit superior to the traditional monoreceptor sensor.