Properties of vapor detector arrays formed through plasticization of carbon black - Organic polymer composites

Michael E. Koscho, Robert H. Grubbs, Nathan S. Lewis

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70 Citations (Scopus)


Arrays of vapor detectors have been formed through addition of varying mass fractions of the plasticizer diethylene glycol dibenzoate to carbon black-polymer composites of poly(vinyl acetate) (PVAc) or of poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone). Addition of plasticizer in 5% mass fraction increments produced 20 compositionally different detectors from each polymer composite. Differences in vapor sorption and permeability that effected changes in the dc electrical resistance response of these compositionally different detectors allowed identification and classification of various test analytes using standard chemometric methods. Glass transition temperatures, Tg, were measured using differential scanning calorimetry for plasticized polymers having a mass fraction of 0, 0.10, 0.20, 0.30, 0.40, or 0.50 of plasticizer in the composite. The plasticized PVAc composites with Tg < 25 °C showed rapid responses at room temperature to all of the test analyte vapors studied in this work, whereas composites with Tg > 25 °C showed response times that were highly dependent on the polymer/analyte combination. These composites showed a discontinuity in the temperature dependence of their resistance, and this discontinuity provided a simple method for determining the Tg of the composite and for determining the temperature or plasticizer mass fraction above which rapid resistance responses could be obtained for all members of the test set of analyte vapors. The plasticization approach provides a method for achieving rapid detector response times as well as for producing a large number of chemically different vapor detectors from a limited number of initial chemical feedstocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1307-1315
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry

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