Chemical vapor detection using single-walled carbon nanotubes

Chem Soc Rev. 2006 Sep;35(9):790-8. doi: 10.1039/b515473c. Epub 2006 May 24.


Single-walled carbon nanotubes possess unique properties that make them a potentially ideal material for chemical sensing. However, their extremely small size also presents technical challenges for realizing a practical sensor technology. In this tutorial review we explore the transduction physics by which the presence of molecular adsorbates is converted into a measurable electronic signal, and we identify solutions to the problems such as nanotube device fabrication and large, low-frequency noise that have inhibited commercial sensor development. Finally, we examine strategies to provide the necessary chemical specificity to realize a nanotube-based detection system for trace-level chemical vapor detection.