Infoscience

Journal article

Sub-ppm detection of vapors using piezoresistive microcantilever array sensors

The performance of microfabricated piezoresistive cantilever array sensors has been evaluated using various vapors of volatile organic compounds including alkanes with different chain length from 5 (n-pentane) to 14 (n-tetradecane). We demonstrate that piezoresistive microcantilever array sensors have the selectivity of discriminating individual alkanes in a homologous series as well as common volatile organic compounds according to principal component analysis. We developed a new method to evaluate the sensitivity, taking advantage of the low vapor pressures of alkanes with longer chains, such as n-dodecane, n-tridecane and n-tetradecane, under saturated vapor conditions. This method reveals sub-ppm sensitivity and the cantilever response is found to follow the mass of evaporated analytes as calculated using a quantitative model based on the Langmuir evaporation model.

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