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Open AccessArticle

Room-Temperature Catalyst Enables Selective Acetone Sensing

Particle Technology Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland
Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology, and Clinical Nutrition, University Hospital Zurich (USZ) and University of Zurich (UZH), CH-8091 Zurich, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Antonio Gil Bravo
Materials 2021, 14(8), 1839;
Received: 27 February 2021 / Revised: 29 March 2021 / Accepted: 1 April 2021 / Published: 8 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flame Synthesis and Characterization of Oxide Nanoparticles)
Catalytic packed bed filters ahead of gas sensors can drastically improve their selectivity, a key challenge in medical, food and environmental applications. Yet, such filters require high operation temperatures (usually some hundreds °C) impeding their integration into low-power (e.g., battery-driven) devices. Here, we reveal room-temperature catalytic filters that facilitate highly selective acetone sensing, a breath marker for body fat burn monitoring. Varying the Pt content between 0–10 mol% during flame spray pyrolysis resulted in Al2O3 nanoparticles decorated with Pt/PtOx clusters with predominantly 5–6 nm size, as revealed by X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy. Most importantly, Pt contents above 3 mol% removed up to 100 ppm methanol, isoprene and ethanol completely already at 40 °C and high relative humidity, while acetone was mostly preserved, as confirmed by mass spectrometry. When combined with an inexpensive, chemo-resistive sensor of flame-made Si/WO3, acetone was detected with high selectivity (≥225) over these interferants next to H2, CO, form-/acetaldehyde and 2-propanol. Such catalytic filters do not require additional heating anymore, and thus are attractive for integration into mobile health care devices to monitor, for instance, lifestyle changes in gyms, hospitals or at home. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanotechnology; combustion synthesis; electronics; semiconductors; metal oxides; noble metals nanotechnology; combustion synthesis; electronics; semiconductors; metal oxides; noble metals
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MDPI and ACS Style

Weber, I.C.; Wang, C.-t.; Güntner, A.T. Room-Temperature Catalyst Enables Selective Acetone Sensing. Materials 2021, 14, 1839.

AMA Style

Weber IC, Wang C-t, Güntner AT. Room-Temperature Catalyst Enables Selective Acetone Sensing. Materials. 2021; 14(8):1839.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Weber, Ines C.; Wang, Chang-ting; Güntner, Andreas T. 2021. "Room-Temperature Catalyst Enables Selective Acetone Sensing" Materials 14, no. 8: 1839.

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