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Sensors 2017, 17(12), 2845; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17122845

Chemical Selectivity and Sensitivity of a 16-Channel Electronic Nose for Trace Vapour Detection

1
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, EE dep., Tržaška 25, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2
Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana, Večna pot 113, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3
J. Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
4
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, Jadranska 19, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Tongues and Electronic Noses)
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Abstract

Good chemical selectivity of sensors for detecting vapour traces of targeted molecules is vital to reliable detection systems for explosives and other harmful materials. We present the design, construction and measurements of the electronic response of a 16 channel electronic nose based on 16 differential microcapacitors, which were surface-functionalized by different silanes. The e-nose detects less than 1 molecule of TNT out of 10+12 N2 molecules in a carrier gas in 1 s. Differently silanized sensors give different responses to different molecules. Electronic responses are presented for TNT, RDX, DNT, H2S, HCN, FeS, NH3, propane, methanol, acetone, ethanol, methane, toluene and water. We consider the number density of these molecules and find that silane surfaces show extreme affinity for attracting molecules of TNT, DNT and RDX. The probability to bind these molecules and form a surface-adsorbate is typically 10+7 times larger than the probability to bind water molecules, for example. We present a matrix of responses of differently functionalized microcapacitors and we propose that chemical selectivity of multichannel e-nose could be enhanced by using artificial intelligence deep learning methods. View Full-Text
Keywords: artificial nose; electronic nose; sensor array; vapour trace detection; capacitive microsensors; chemical sensing; explosive detection; gas sensors; signal processing artificial nose; electronic nose; sensor array; vapour trace detection; capacitive microsensors; chemical sensing; explosive detection; gas sensors; signal processing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Strle, D.; Štefane, B.; Trifkovič, M.; Van Miden, M.; Kvasić, I.; Zupanič, E.; Muševič, I. Chemical Selectivity and Sensitivity of a 16-Channel Electronic Nose for Trace Vapour Detection. Sensors 2017, 17, 2845.

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