Fabrication and characterization of chemical sensors made from nanostructured films of poly(o-ethoxyaniline) prepared with different doping acids
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Chemical sensors made from nanostructured films of poly(o-ethoxyaniline) POEA and poly(sodium 4-styrene sulfonate) PSS are produced and used to detect and distinguish 4 chemicals in solution at 20 mM, including sucrose, NaCl, HCl, and caffeine. These substances are used in order to mimic the 4 basic tastes recognized by humans, namely sweet, salty, sour, and bitter, respectively. The sensors are produced by the deposition of POEA/PSS films at the top of interdigitated microelectrodes via the layer-by-layer technique, using POEA solutions containing different dopant acids. Besides the different characteristics of the POEA/PSS films investigated by UV-Vis and Raman spectroscopies, and by atomic force microscopy.. it is observed that their electrical response to the different chemicals in liquid media is very fast, in the order of seconds, systematical, reproducible, and extremely dependent on the type of acid used for film fabrication. The responses of the as-prepared sensors are reproducible and repetitive after many cycles of operation. Furthermore, the use of an "electronic tongue" composed by an array of these sensors and principal component analysis as pattern recognition tool allows one to reasonably distinguish test solutions according to their chemical composition. (c) 2007 Published by Elsevier B.V.