Many types of materials such as inorganic semiconductors have been employed as detectors for nuclear radiation, the importance of which has increased significantly due to recent nuclear catastrophes. Despite the many advantages of this type of materials, the ability to measure direct cellular or biological responses to radiation might improve detector sensitivity. In this context, semiconducting organic materials such as deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA have been studied in recent years. This was established by studying the varying electronic properties of DNA-metal or semiconductor junctions when exposed to radiation. In this work, we investigated the electronics of aluminium (Al)/DNA/silicon (Si) rectifying junctions using their current-voltage (I-V) characteristics when exposed to alpha radiation. Diode parameters such as ideality factor, barrier height and series resistance were determined for different irradiation times. The observed results show significant changes with exposure time or total dosage received. An increased deviation from ideal diode conditions (7.2 to 18.0) was observed when they were bombarded with alpha particles for up to 40 min. Using the conventional technique, barrier height values were observed to generally increase after 2, 6, 10, 20 and 30 min of radiation. The same trend was seen in the values of the series resistance (0.5889-1.423 Ω for 2-8 min). These changes in the electronic properties of the DNA/Si junctions could therefore be utilized in the construction of sensitive alpha particle detectors.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.