Comparison between Linear and Branched Polyethylenimine and Reduced Graphene Oxide Coatings as a Capture Layer for Micro Resonant CO 2 Gas Concentration Sensors

Sensors (Basel). 2020 Mar 25;20(7):1824. doi: 10.3390/s20071824.


The comparison between potential coatings for the measurement of CO2 concentration through the frequency shift in micro-resonators is presented. The polymers evaluated are linear polyethylenimine, branched polyethylenimine and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) by microwave reduction with polyethylenimine. The characterization of the coatings was made by using 6 MHz gold-plated quartz crystals, and a proof-of-concept sensor is shown with a diaphragm electrostatic microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) resonator. The methods of producing the solutions of the polymers deposited onto the quartz crystals are presented. A CO2 concentration range from 0.05 % to 1 % was dissolved in air and humidity level were controlled and evaluated. Linear polyethylenimine showed superior performance with a reaction time obtained for stabilization after the concentration increase of 345 s, while the time for recovery was of 126 s, with a maximum frequency deviation of 33.6 Hz for an in-air CO2 concentration of 0.1%.

Keywords: CO2 sensor; coatings; gas sensor; humidity sensor; mass sensor; micro-resonator; polyethylenimine; reduced graphene oxide.