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Published March 15, 2002 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Properties of Vapor Detector Arrays Formed through Plasticization of Carbon Black−Organic Polymer Composites


Arrays of vapor detectors have been formed through addition of varying mass fractions of the plasticizer diethylene glycol dibenzoate to carbon black-polymer composites of poly(vinyl acetate) (PVAc) or of poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone). Addition of plasticizer in 5% mass fraction increments produced 20 compositionally different detectors from each polymer composite. Differences in vapor sorption and permeability that effected changes in the dc electrical resistance response of these compositionally different detectors allowed identification and classification of various test analytes using standard chemometric methods. Glass transition temperatures, T_g, were measured using differential scanning calorimetry for plasticized polymers having a mass fraction of 0, 0.10, 0.20, 0.30, 0.40, or 0.50 of plasticizer in the composite. The plasticized PVAc composites with T_g < 25 °C showed rapid responses at room temperature to all of the test analyte vapors studied in this work, whereas composites with T_g > 25 °C showed response times that were highly dependent on the polymer/analyte combination. These composites showed a discontinuity in the temperature dependence of their resistance, and this discontinuity provided a simple method for determining the T_g of the composite and for determining the temperature or plasticizer mass fraction above which rapid resistance responses could be obtained for all members of the test set of analyte vapors. The plasticization approach provides a method for achieving rapid detector response times as well as for producing a large number of chemically different vapor detectors from a limited number of initial chemical feedstocks.

Additional Information

© 2002 American Chemical Society. Received 2 October 2001; accepted 6 December 2001; published online 14 February 2002; published in print 15 March 2002. We acknowledge the ARO, DOE, and NIH for support of this research.

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