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Nerve Agent Detection Using Networks Of Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes

J. Novak, E. Snow, E. J. Houser, Doewon Park, J. Stepnowski, R. A. McGill
Published 2003 · Materials Science

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We report the use of carbon nanotubes as a sensor for chemical nerve agents. Thin-film transistors constructed from random networks of single-walled carbon nanotubes were used to detect dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), a simulant for the nerve agent sarin. These sensors are reversible and capable of detecting DMMP at sub-ppb concentration levels, and they are intrinsically selective against interferent signals from hydrocarbon vapors and humidity. We provide additional chemical specificity by the use of filters coated with chemoselective polymer films. These results indicate that the electronic detection of sub-ppb concentrations of nerve agents and potentially other chemical warfare agents is possible with simple-to-fabricate carbon nanotube devices.
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