Vapor sensing with arrays of carbon black-polymer composites

Adam Matzger, Thomas P. Vaid, Nathan S Lewis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Citations (Scopus)


Thin films of carbon black-organic polymer composites have been deposited across two metallic leads, with swelling-induced resistance changes of the films signaling the presence of vapors. To identify and classify vapors, arrays of such vapor-sensing elements have been constructed, with each element containing a different organic polymer as the insulating phase. The differing gas-solid partition coefficients for the various polymers of the sensor array produce a pattern of resistance changes that can be used to classify vapors and vapor mixtures. This type of sensor array has been shown to resolve all organic vapors that have been analyzed, and can even resolve H2O from D2O. Blends of poly(vinyl acetate) and poly(methyl methacrylate) have been used to produce a series of sensors that respond to vapors with a change in resistance of a magnitude that is not simply a linear combination of the responses of the pure polymers. These compatible blend composite detectors provided additional analyte discrimination information relative to a reference detector array that only contained composites formed using the pure polymer phases. Vapor signatures from chemicals used in land mine explosives, including TNT, DNT, and DNB, have been detected in air in short sampling time and discriminated from each other using these sensor arrays.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
PublisherSociety of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets IV - Orlando, FL, USA
Duration: Apr 5 1999Apr 9 1999


OtherProceedings of the 1999 Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets IV
CityOrlando, FL, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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