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Microsystems for Bioelectronics - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9780323313025, 9780323312691

Microsystems for Bioelectronics

2nd Edition

Scaling and Performance Limits

Authors: Victor V. Zhirnov Ralph K. Cavin III
Hardcover ISBN: 9780323313025
eBook ISBN: 9780323312691
Imprint: William Andrew
Published Date: 23rd February 2015
Page Count: 300
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Table of Contents

  • Preface—Second Edition
  • Chapter 1: The nanomorphic cell: atomic-level limits of computing
    • Abstracts
    • List of Acronyms
    • 1.1. Introduction
    • 1.2. Electronic Scaling
    • 1.3. Nanomorphic Cell: Atomic Level Limits of Computing
    • 1.4. The Nanomorphic Cell vis-à-vis the Living Cell
    • 1.5. Cell Parameters: Mass, Size, and Energy
    • 1.6. Current Status of Technologies for Autonomous Microsystems
    • 1.7. Summary
    • 1.8. Appendix
  • Chapter 2: Basic physics of ICT
    • Abstract
    • List of Acronyms
    • 2.1. Introduction
    • 2.2. A Central Concept: Energy Barrier
    • 2.3. Physical Origin of The Barrier Potential in Materials Systems
    • 2.4. Two-Sided Barrier
    • 2.5. Model Case: An Electrical Capacitor
    • 2.6. Barrier Transitions
    • 2.7. Quantum Confinement
    • 2.8. Quantum Conductance
    • 2.9. Electron Transport in the Presence of Barriers
    • 2.10. Barriers in Semiconductors
    • 2.11. Summary
  • Chapter 3: Energy in the small: micro-scale energy sources
    • Abstract
    • List of Acronyms
    • 3.1. Introduction
    • 3.2. Storage Capacitor
    • 3.3. Electrochemical Energy: Fundamentals of Galvanic Cells
    • 3.4. Miniature Supercapacitors
    • 3.5. Energy from Radioisotopes
    • 3.6. Remarks on Energy Harvesting
    • 3.7. Summary
    • 3.8. Appendix. A Kinetic Model to Assess the Limits of Heat Removal
  • Chapter 4: Fundamental limits for logic and memory
    • Abstract
    • List of Acronyms
    • 4.1. Introduction
    • 4.2. Information and Information Processing
    • 4.3. Basic Physics of Binary Elements
    • 4.4. System-level Analysis
    • 4.5. Summary
    • 4.6. Appendix. Derivation of Electron Travel Time (Eq. 4.58)
  • Chapter 5: A severely scaled information processor
    • Abstract
    • List of Acronyms
    • 5.1. Introduction
    • 5.2. Information: a Quantitative Treatment
    • 5.3. Abstract Information Processor
    • 5.4. Concluding Remarks
    • 5.5. Appendix: Choice of Probability Values to Maximize the Entropy Function
  • Chapter 6: Sensors at the micro-scale
    • Abstract
    • List of Acronyms
    • 6.1. Introduction
    • 6.2. Sensor Basics
    • 6.3. Analog Signal
    • 6.4. Fundamental Sensitivity Limit of Sensors: Thermal Noise
    • 6.5. What Information can be Obtained from Cells?
    • 6.6. Sensors of Bioelectricity
    • 6.7. Chemical and Biochemical Sensors
    • 6.8. Thermal Biosensors
    • 6.9. Optical Biosensors
    • 6.10. Summary
    • 6.11. Glossary of Biological Terms
  • Chapter 7: Nanomorphic cell communication unit
    • Abstract
    • List of Acronyms
    • 7.1. Introduction
    • 7.2. EM Radiation
    • 7.3. Basic RF Communication System
    • 7.4. EM Transducer: A Linear Antenna
    • 7.5. Free-space Single-Photon Limit for Energy in EM Communication
    • 7.6. Thermal Noise Limit on Communication Spectrum
    • 7.7. The THz Communication Option (λ 100 μm)
    • 7.8. Wireless Communication for Biomedical Applications
    • 7.9. Optical Wavelength Communication Option (λ ∼ 1 μm)
    • 7.10. Status of μ-scaled LEDs and PDs
    • 7.11. Summary
  • Chapter 8: Micron-sized systems: in carbo vs. in silico
    • Abstract
    • List of Acronyms
    • 8.1. Introduction
    • 8.2. The Living Cell as a Turing Machine
    • 8.3. The Nanomorphic (in Silico) Cell
    • 8.4. The Living (in Carbo) Cell
    • 8.5. Benchmarks: in Carbo versus in Silico Processors
    • 8.6. Operational Characteristics of a 10-μm ICT System
    • 8.7. Design Secrets of an in Carbo System
    • 8.8. ICT and Biology: Opportunities for Synergy
    • 8.9. Summary
  • Concluding Remarks
  • Index


The advances in microsystems offer new opportunities and capabilities to develop systems for biomedical applications, such as diagnostics and therapy. There is a need for a comprehensive treatment of microsystems and in particular for an understanding of performance limits associated with the shrinking scale of microsystems. The new edition of Microsystems for Bioelectronics addresses those needs and represents a major revision, expansion and advancement of the previous edition.

This book considers physical principles and trends in extremely scaled autonomous microsystems such as integrated intelligent sensor systems, with a focus on energy minimization. It explores the implications of energy minimization on device and system architecture. It further details behavior of electronic components and its implications on system-level scaling and performance limits. In particular, fundamental scaling limits for energy sourcing, sensing, memory, computation and communication subsystems are developed and new applications such as optical, magnetic and mechanical sensors are presented.

The new edition of this well-proven book with its unique focus and interdisciplinary approach shows the complexities of the next generation of nanoelectronic microsystems in a simple and illuminating view, and is aimed for a broad audience within the engineering and biomedical community.


Practicing engineers and scientists who are involved in research, development and use of electronic nano and micro-systems, particularly in biotech and biomedicine contexts. Graduate and PhD students in bioengineering and bioelectronics


No. of pages:
© William Andrew 2015
23rd February 2015
William Andrew
Hardcover ISBN:
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Ratings and Reviews

About the Authors

Victor V. Zhirnov

Research Associate Professor at North Carolina State University and has an appointment as research scientists at the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC). His responsibilities at the SRC include assessments of emerging nanoelectronic devices. He has authored and co-authored over 80 technical papers and contributions to books. He has served as a consultant to a number of government, industrial, and academic institutions, and was awarded the Springer Prize as well as the Arthur K. Doolittle Award.

Affiliations and Expertise

Research Associate Professor, North Carolina State University and Research Scientist, Semiconductor Research Corporation

Ralph K. Cavin III

Affiliations and Expertise

Vice President for Research Operations, Semiconductor Research Corporation