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Oligomer-Coated Carbon Nanotube Chemiresistive Sensors for Selective Detection of Nitroaromatic Explosives

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journal contribution
posted on 15.04.2015 by Yaqiong Zhang, Miao Xu, Benjamin R. Bunes, Na Wu, Dustin E. Gross, Jeffrey S. Moore, Ling Zang
High-performance chemiresistive sensors were made using a porous thin film of single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) coated with a carbazolylethynylene (Tg-Car) oligomer for trace vapor detection of nitroaromatic explosives. The sensors detect low concentrations of 4-nitrotoluene (NT), 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), and 2,4-dinitrotoluene (DNT) vapors at ppb to ppt levels. The sensors also show high selectivity to NT from other common organic reagents at significantly higher vapor concentrations. Furthermore, by using Tg-Car/CNT sensors and uncoated CNT sensors in parallel, differential sensing of NT, TNT, and DNT vapors was achieved. This work provides a methodology to create selective CNT-based sensors and sensor arrays.