- Conference date: 15–17 April 2009
- Location: Brescia (Italy)
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been proposed for a broad spectrum of applications, including chemical sensing. Here we report on an investigation of multi‐walled CNTs (MWCNTs) as conductive filler for composite polymer sensing films. Such materials combine conductive fillers with an insulating polymer to produce a chemically sensitive, electrically conducting material. These polymer composites offer several important advantages for chemical sensing, including room temperature operation (hence ultra low power), a broad range of selectivities (due to the wide choice of available polymers), and low manufacturing cost. Our approach is to compare the sensing qualities of these composite films, in resistive and field‐effect configurations, with existing carbon black polymer composites. Their responses to propanol and toluene vapour in air show that the carbon black resistive sensors outperform CNT sensors by a factor of four in response magnitude. Thus we conclude that for these vapours and using this sensor fabrication method, carbon black polymer composite films are preferable for chemical sensing than MWCNT polymer composites.
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