Materials and Devices for Sensing Volatile Aromatic Compounds


Elizabeth S. Sterner


Elizabeth S. Sterner, Federico Bertani, Jisun Im, Timothy M. Swager

Author Affiliation: 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Parma


Sensing volatile aromatic compounds such as benzene, toluene and xylenes is challenging due to their lack of chemically interactive features. These molecules are known to have significant health effects and are common environmental and industrial pollutants whose permissible exposure levels are regulated by OSHA, yet portable and reliable devices for determining their concentration in air have yet to be produced. The reported work explores several different types of materials as candidates for aromatic volatile sensing in quartz crystal microbalance and carbon nanotube-based chemiresistor devices, including quinoxaline-based cavitands, cellulose derivatives, and aromatic-rich polymers.