Polyaniline nanofiber composites with amines: Novel materials for phosgene detection
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- Virji, S., Kojima, R., Fowler, J.D. et al. Nano Res. (2009) 2: 135. doi:10.1007/s12274-009-9011-1
Several orders of magnitude of change in resistance are observed upon chemical doping and dedoping of the conducting polymer polyaniline. This large conductivity range can be utilized to make sensitive chemical sensors. Polyaniline, in its nanofiber form, has even greater sensing capabilities due to the small fiber diameters, high surface area, and porous nanofiber network that enhances gas diffusion into the fibers. Polyaniline nanofibers have been synthesized using a rapid mixing method and dispersed in water allowing them to be easily modified with water soluble agents, making new composite materials. Polyaniline nanofiber composite materials can be used to enhance detection of analytes that unmodified polyaniline would not otherwise be able to detect. The detection mechanism involves the reaction of an additive with the analyte to generate a strong acid that is easily detected by polyaniline, resulting in orders of magnitude changes in resistance. The reaction of the additive alone with the analyte produces no electrical response, however. In this paper, an array of amine-polyaniline nanofiber composite materials is investigated for the detection of phosgene gas. The influence of environmental conditions such as humidity and temperature are examined and a detection mechanism is presented.