Detection of organic vapors and NH3(g) using thin-film carbon black-metallophthalocyanine composite chemiresistors

Stephen Maldonado, Edgardo García-Berríos, Marc D. Woodka, Bruce S. Brunschwig, Nathan S. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Thin-film chemiresistive vapor sensors have been fabricated using composites of carbon black (CB) and metallophthalocyanines. The resulting sensors exhibited large, rapid, and reversible relative differential resistance changes upon exposure to a series of test organic vapors. The individual sensor responses, and collective sensor array properties for classification of a series of test organic vapors, were comparable to those of chemiresistor arrays made from composites of conductors and insulating organic polymers. In addition to displaying resistance responses to volatile organic compounds, the CB/metallophthalocyanine composite sensors exhibited a high sensitivity towards trace levels of NH3(g) under ambient temperature and pressure conditions. No degradation in sensor response was observed after nearly 12 h of repeated exposure to 30 parts per million of NH3(g) in air. Chemiresistors formed from composites of CB and zinc phthalocyanines demonstrated responses that were comparable to those of commercial NH3(g) sensors. The CB/metallophthalocyanine composites thus broaden the types of materials that can be used for this type of low-power chemiresistive gas sensing, and broaden the types of analytes that can be sensitively detected to include inorganic gases as well as organic vapors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-531
Number of pages11
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 25 2008


  • Chemiresistor gas sensors
  • Electronic nose
  • Metallophthalocyanine
  • NH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

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