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Conductive Polymer Films As Ultrasensitive Chemical Sensors For Hydrazine And Monomethylhydrazine Vapor.

D. L. Ellis, M. R. Zakin, L. Bernstein, M. Rubner
Published 1996 · Chemistry, Medicine

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Thin films of the electrically conductive polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene) were investigated as ultrasensitive chemical sensors for hydrazine and monomethylhydrazine vapor. The threshold limit value for these highly toxic species, which are used extensively as rocket fuels, has recently been lowered to 10 ppb for 8-h exposure, necessitating the development of instrumentation with improved sensitivity. The present study describes the fabrication, calibration, and testing of simple, rugged, polymer-based sensors for detection of hydrazines in both ambient and vacuum environments. For reasonable choices of film thickness, initial resistance, and integration time, it is demonstrated that concentrations in the 0.1-100 ppb range can be monitored with an accuracy of ±20%. The sensor can be utilized for both dosimetric and real-time detection. Reproducible fabrication was achieved using standard spin-coating techniques. The polymer sensors exhibit good specificity to hydrazines in the presence of NH(3), amines, and ambient H(2)O and have a shelf-life of several years when stored in cold, dry conditions.



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