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Polypyrrole-Functionalized Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Gas Sensor Arrays


The overall objective of this work is to fabricate and evaluate polypyrrole-single-walled carbon nanotubes hybrid structures based chemiresistive sensor arrays for sensitive, selective and discriminative sensing at room temperature of emissions from automobiles and industrial manufacturing. To conceive the sensor arrays single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) networks were aligned to bridge a 3 fÝm gap between a pair of prefabricated microelectrodes followed by coating with polypyrrole (PPY) with different dopants by electrochemical polymerization.

Initially, the sensor¡¦s synthesis conditions in terms of PPY thickness on SWNTs networks by varying the electropolymerization charge of the monomer pyrrole in presence of LiClO4 dopant for the sensing of NH3 was optimized. Using the optimized polymerization charge of 1 fÝC determined previously, arrays of SWNTs-PPY hybrid sensors were fabricated by replacing dopant LiClO4 by L-camphor sulfonic acid, D-camphor sulfonic acid, p-toluene sulfonic acid and sodium dodecyl sulfonate.

Room temperature gas sensing performance of the PPY coated SWNTs network arrays to gases of environmental significance such as NH3, NO2, H2S, SO2, CO and CO2 and volatile organic compounds such as benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, p-xylene, methanol, n-hexane and acetone and humidity, was evaluated. Several folds enhancement in sensing performance was observed towards all the tested analytesfor hybrid devices when compared to bare SWNTs network devices. Differences in sensing performance were noticed for PPY coating with different dopants demonstrating the potential of using the array for discrimination of the tested analytes in a mixture by using chemometric techniques. The underlying sensing mechanism was also investigated by using the devices in chemFET mode configuration.

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