An optoelectronic nose for the detection of toxic gases

Sung H. Lim, Liang Feng, Jonathan W. Kemling, Christopher J. Musto, Kenneth S. Suslick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have developed a simple colorimetric sensor array that detects a wide range of volatile analytes and then applied it to the detection of toxic gases. The sensor consists of a disposable array of cross-responsive nanoporous pigments with colours that are changed by diverse chemical interactions with analytes. Although no single chemically responsive pigment is specific for any one analyte, the pattern of colour change for the array is a unique molecular fingerprint. Clear differentiation among 19 different toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) within two minutes of exposure at concentrations immediately dangerous to life or health were demonstrated. Based on the colour change of the array, quantification of each analyte was accomplished easily, and excellent detection limits were achieved, generally below the permissible exposure limits. Different TICs were identified readily using a standard chemometric approach (hierarchical clustering analysis), with no misclassifications over 140 trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)562-567
Number of pages6
JournalNature Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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