An investigation of the concentration dependence and response to analyte mixtures of carbon black/insulating organic polymer composite vapor detectors

Erik J. Severin, Brett J. Doleman, Nathan S Lewis

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The responses relative to an air background of carbon black/polymer composite vapor detectors have been determined as a function of the concentration of a homologous series of alcohols (n-C(n)H(2n+1)OH, 1 ≤n ≤8), a homologous series of alkanes (n-C(n)H(2n+2), 5 ≤n ≤10 and n = 12, 14), and a set of diverse solvent vapors. In all cases, the steady-state relative differential resistance responses, ΔR/R(b), of the carbon black/polymer composite vapor detectors were well-described by a linear relationship with respect to the analyte partial pressure, at least over the tested concentration range (P/P°= 0.005-0.03, where P°is the vapor pressure of the analyte). When two vapors in air were simultaneously presented to the detectors, the ΔR/R(b) response, relative to an air background, was the sum of the ΔR/R(b) values obtained when each analyte was exposed separately to the carbon black/ polymer composite detectors under study. Similarly, when an analyte was exposed to the detectors on top of a background level of another analyte, the ΔR/R(b) values of the array of detectors were very close to those obtained when the test analyte was exposed to the detectors only in the presence of background air. The initial training requirements from the array response output data of such detectors are minimized because the ΔR/R(b) response pattern produced by the analyte of concern can be associated uniquely with that odor, under the conditions explored in this work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-668
Number of pages11
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry

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