We synthesized and tested four different monolayer protected gold nanoclusters (MPCs) as chemically selective interfaces for an organic vapor sensor array. The ligands chosen for capping the nano-Au particles and for selective organic vapor sorption were octanethiol, 2-naphthalenethiol, 2-benzothiazolethiol and 4-methoxythiolphenol. The same set of gold nanoclusters were tested on two different types of sensor platforms, a chemiresistor (CR) and a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM). The sensing properties of both sensor arrays were investigated with 10 organic vapors of various functional groups. Vapor sensing selectivity, dominated by the shell ligand structure of MPC, was demonstrated. The sensitivities of MPC coated CR are better than those of QCM sensors coated with the same material. The average CR/QCM amplification factors are range from 1.9 for 4-methoxythiolphenol MPC to 16.9 for octanethiol MPC. These differences in amplification factors indicate the functional group specific mechanisms for each vapor-MPC pair. The shell penetration mechanism of hydrogen-bonding vapor molecules into the 2-benzothiazolethiol capped MPC reduced the CR/QCM amplification factors. Strong attraction between MPC shell ligands can also reduce the magnitude of resistance changes during vapor sorption.
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