Nano Archive

Flexible carbon nanotube sensors for nerve agent simulants

Cattanach, Kyle and Kulkarni, Rashmi D and Kozlov, Mikhail and Manohar, Sanjeev K (2006) Flexible carbon nanotube sensors for nerve agent simulants. Nanotechnology, 17 (16). pp. 4123-4128.

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Chemiresistor-based vapour sensors made from network films of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) bundles on flexible plastic substrates (polyethylene terephthalate, PET) can be used to detect chemical warfare agent simulants for the nerve agents Sarin (diisopropyl methylphosphonate, DIMP) and Soman (dimethyl methylphosphonate, DMMP). Large, reproducible resistance changes (75-150%), are observed upon exposure to DIMP or DMMP vapours, and concentrations as low as 25~ppm can be detected. Robust sensor response to simulant vapours is observed even in the presence of large equilibrium concentrations of interferent vapours commonly found in battle-space environments, such as hexane, xylene and water (10 000~ppm each), suggesting that both DIMP and DMMP vapours are capable of selectively displacing other vapours from the walls of the SWNTs. Response to these interferent vapours can be effectively filtered out by using a 2~<span class='mathrm'>μ</span>m thick barrier film of the chemoselective polymer polyisobutylene (PIB) on the SWNT surface. These network films are composed of a 1-2~<span class='mathrm'>μ</span>m thick non-woven mesh of SWNT bundles (15-30~nm diameter), whose sensor response is qualitatively and quantitatively different from previous studies on individual SWNTs, or a network of individual SWNTs, suggesting that vapour sorption at interbundle sites could be playing an important role. This study also shows that the line patterning method used in device fabrication to obtain any desired pattern of films of SWNTs on flexible substrates can be used to rapidly screen simulants at high concentrations before developing more complicated sensor systems.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Analytical Science > Nanotechnology for sensing and actuating
Biomedical Science > Nanobiotechnology
ID Code:286
Deposited By:Lesley Tobin
Deposited On:27 Nov 2008 15:25
Last Modified:09 Feb 2009 15:47

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