Colorimetric Sensor Array for Monitoring CO and Ethylene

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Developing miniaturized and inexpensive detectors remains an important and practical goal for field-deployable monitoring of toxic gases and other bioactive volatiles. CO (a common toxic pollutant) and ethylene (the phytohormone primarily responsible for fruit ripening) share the capability of strong back-π-bonding to low-oxidation-state metal ions, which has proved important in the development of metal-ion-based sensors for these gases. We report herein cumulative colorimetric sensor arrays based on Pd(II)-silica porous microsphere sensors and their application as an optoelectronic nose for rapid colorimetric quantification of airborne CO and ethylene. Quantitative analysis of two gases was obtained in the range of 0.5 to 50 ppm with detection limits at the sub-parts-per-million level (∼0.4 ppm) after 2 min of exposure and ∼0.2 ppm after 20 min (i.e., <0.5% of the permissible exposure limit for CO and <10% of the ethylene concentration needed for fruit ripening). We further validate that common potential interfering agents (e.g., changes in humidity or other similar air pollutants such as NO x , SO 2 , H 2 S, or acetylene) are not misidentified with CO or ethylene. Finally, the sensor is successfully used for the quantification of ethylene emitted from ripening bananas, demonstrating its potential applications in the monitoring of fruit ripening during storage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-802
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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