Polyaniline-Functionalized Nanofibers for Colorimetric Detection of HCl Vapor

ACS Omega. 2018 Mar 28;3(3):3587-3591. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.8b00054. eCollection 2018 Mar 31.


Hydrogen chloride (HCl) gas is a hazardous byproduct of industrial processes. Colorimetric approaches to facilitate portable and remote detection are especially desirable. We graft polyaniline to the surface of electrospun nylon nanofibers to minimize mass transfer. Using the resulting nanofibers, we demonstrate colorimetric detection of HCl at sub-ppm levels. We investigated the reusability of the fibers and observed a twofold increase in the limit of detection with multiple uses because of dedoping of the PANi indicated by elemental analysis. The limit of detection using visual detection was compared to spectrophotometric analysis. The ΔE from CIE LAB color space analysis via diffuse reflectance spectroscopy enhances the limit of detection by ∼fivefold when compared to visual detection. This analysis is a promising approach for remote detection using simple commercial digital cameras to achieve low limits of detection.