Room-temperature-operated organic-based acetone gas sensor for breath analysis

Ming Yen Chuang, Yu Ting Lin, Ting Wei Tung, Liang Yu Chang, Hsiao Wen Zan*, Hsin Fei Meng, Chia Jung Lu, Yu Tai Tao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


The major merits of organic-based sensors include their low cost, room-temperature operation, and small size. However, their sensitivity and selectivity are concerning, especially in the application of breath analysis. In this work, organic-based sensors were developed based on cylindrical nano-pore structures, which enhanced the sensitivity down to ppb levels. The sensing performance was demonstrated both in pure nitrogen and ambient air. The sensor constructed with poly[(9,9-dioctylfluorenyl-2,7-diyl)-co-(4,4′-(N-(4-sec-butylphenyl)diphenylamine)] (TFB) exhibited a 5% sensing response to 300 ppb of acetone in ambient air. In addition, the sensor's response to other major breath components, including nitric oxide, ethanol, carbon dioxide, and ammonia, was also established. The results showed that the TFB sensor also exhibited a good response to ammonia. Therefore, a humidification tube was designed as an ammonia filter to improve selectivity. The concept of integrating a highly sensitive sensor with a customized sensing system shows promise for medical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-600
Number of pages8
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 1


  • Acetone
  • Breath analysis
  • Filter
  • Humidity
  • Organic sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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