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Sensors 2016, 16(2), 183;

Integrated Gas Sensing System of SWCNT and Cellulose Polymer Concentrator for Benzene, Toluene, and Xylenes

Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: W. Rudolf Seitz
Received: 22 December 2015 / Revised: 23 January 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2016 / Published: 2 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3126 KB, uploaded 2 February 2016]   |  


An integrated cellulose polymer concentrator/single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) sensing system is demonstrated to detect benzene, toluene, and xylenes (BTX) vapors. The sensing system consists of functionalized cellulose as a selective concentrator disposed directly on top of a conductive SWCNT sensing layer. Functionalized cellulose concentrator (top layer) selectively adsorbs the target analyte and delivers the concentrated analyte as near as possible to the SWCNT sensing layer (bottom layer), which enables the simultaneous concentrating and sensing within a few seconds. The selectivity can be achieved by functionalizing cellulose acetate with a pentafluorophenylacetyl selector that interacts strongly with the target BTX analytes. A new design of the integrated cellulose concentrator/SWCNT sensing system allows high sensitivity with limits of detection for benzene, toluene, and m-xylene vapors of 55 ppm, 19 ppm, and 14 ppm, respectively, selectivity, and fast responses (<10 s to reach equilibrium), exhibiting the potential ability for on-site, real-time sensing applications. The sensing mechanism involves the selective adsorption of analytes in the concentrator film, which in turn mediates changes in the electronic potentials at the polymer-SWCNT interface and potentially changes in the tunneling barriers between nanotubes. View Full-Text
Keywords: cellulose; SWCNT; gas sensor; benzene; concentrator cellulose; SWCNT; gas sensor; benzene; concentrator

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Im, J.; Sterner, E.S.; Swager, T.M. Integrated Gas Sensing System of SWCNT and Cellulose Polymer Concentrator for Benzene, Toluene, and Xylenes. Sensors 2016, 16, 183.

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