Tuning pendant groups of polythiophene on carbon nanotubes for vapour classification
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Poly(3-alkoxythiophene) (PT) with varying ratios of triethylamine and 1-methyl imidazole pendant groups and horizontally aligned single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) are utilized in this study for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) classification. PTs with five different ratios of pendant groups are incorporated with SWCNT and are evaluated as chemiresistor arrays for analysis of VOCs such as ethanol, acetone, toluene, chloroform, isoprene and ethylene. Varying PT pendant groups yielded differential SWCNT current responses attributed to their chemical affinities for the VOCs tested. Principal component analysis (PCA) for vapour classification illustrated that the vapour responses are separable, thus, highlighting vapour discrimination ability of SWCNT with controlled ratios of PT pendant groups. The proposed methodology is a facile VOC classification approach for two main reasons; (i) PT could easily modified with various pendants groups containing appropriate chemical moieties for preferential interaction with various VOCs and (ii) increasing the number PTs with appropriate pendant group modifications would provide additional inputs to PCA thereby enabling capturing and assaying of a wide range of VOCs.