May 22, 2013
Nanopolyaniline filled with gold nanoparticles sniffs ammonia vapour
A team of researchers in Italy, which includes scientists from the University Sapienza and the IMM-CNR, Research Area Tor Vergata of Rome, has developed gas sensors based on functionalized metal nanoparticles and a conjugated nanostructured polymer.
The nanostructured composite material, which is based on doped polyaniline (PANI) and thiol functionalized gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), has been prepared by an osmosis-based method. Several morphologies were obtained, ranging from amorphous to sponge-like or spherical shapes.
After investigating the structures, different materials with high surface area were selected and tested as chemical interactive materials for room temperature gas and vapour sensing. In the study, the resistive sensor devices were exposed to a range of compounds of interest both in the field of environmental monitoring and for biomedical applications. Test vapours included toluene, acetic acid, ethanol, methanol, acetonitrile, water, ammonia and nitrogen dioxide.
After H2SO4 doping, nanoPANI–Au samples showed a higher response to ammonia vapor in low concentration (10.8 ppm) at room temperature.
The facile preparation method and the improved properties of the polyaniline-gold composite material are promising features for application of this material in ammonia vapor monitoring.
The researchers presented their results in the journal Nanotechnology.
About the author
The study was conducted by researchers from the Department of Chemistry at Sapienza University and the IMM-CNR Institute of Rome, Italy. Ilaria Fratoddi is a researcher in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Rome. Her research activity deals with the synthesis and characterization of functionalized metal nanoparticles, organometallic complexes and polymeric systems with tunable morphology and properties for applicative studies in sensors, optics, photonics and in biotechnology. Iole Venditti is a postDoc at the Department of Chemistry, Sapienza University of Rome and works on nanostructured materials such as metal nanoparticles and functional polymers and copolymers for applications in optoelectronics, photonics and biotechnology. Andrea Bearzotti works as a Researcher at the IMM-CNR institute of Rome and his main interest deals with sensor devices development and characterization. In particular his research has focussed on resistive type chemical sensors for environmental and health applications. Maria Vittoria Russo is a full Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, Sapienza University of Rome, with research interests ranging from inorganic chemistry to material chemistry, in particular on polymeric systems with nanostructured feature and development of new materials for biotechnology and sensor applications.