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Proceedings Paper

Chemical microsensors based on polymer fiber composites
Author(s): Royal F. Kessick; Natalia Levit; Gary C. Tepper
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Paper Abstract

There is an urgent need for new chemical sensors for defense and security applications. In particular, sensors are required that can provide higher sensitivity and faster response in the field than existing baseline technologies. We have been developing a new solid-state chemical sensor technology based on microscale polymer composite fiber arrays. The fibers consist of an insulating polymer doped with conducting particles and are electrospun directly onto the surface of an interdigitated microelectrode. The concentration of the conducting particles within the fiber is controlled and is near the percolation threshold. Thus, the electrical resistance of the polymer fiber composite is very sensitive to volumetric changes produced in the polymer by vapor absorption. Preliminary results are presented on the fabrication and testing of the new microsensor. The objective is to take advantage of the very high surface to volume ratio, low thermal mass and linear geometry of the composite fibers to produce sensors exhibiting an extremely high vapor sensitivity and rapid response. The simplicity and low cost of a resistance-based chemical microsensor makes this sensing approach an attractive alternative to devices requiring RF electronics or time-of-flight analysis. Potential applications of this technology include battlespace awareness, homeland security, environmental surveillance, medical diagnostics and food process monitoring.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 May 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5795, Chemical and Biological Sensing VI, (12 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.601671
Show Author Affiliations
Royal F. Kessick, Sentor Technologies Inc. (United States)
Natalia Levit, Virginia Commonwealth Univ. (United States)
Gary C. Tepper, Sentor Technologies Inc. (United States)
Virginia Commonwealth Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5795:
Chemical and Biological Sensing VI
Patrick J. Gardner, Editor(s)

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