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Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles Based Fluorescent Electronic Nose for the Identification of Volatile Compounds

Zhao, Peng, Wu, Yusen, Feng, Chuying, Wang, Lili, Ding, Yun, Hu, Aiguo
Analytical chemistry 2018 v.90 no.7 pp. 4815-4822
acids, air, amines, aromatic hydrocarbons, cluster analysis, color, electronic nose, explosives, fluorescence, nanoparticles, paper, polymers, principal component analysis, support vector machines, toxic substances, toxicity, vapor pressure, volatile compounds
A fluorescence sensing array (or fluorescent electronic nose) is designed on a disposable paper card using 36 sets of soluble conjugated polymeric nanoparticles (SCPNs) as sensors to easily identify wide ranges of volatile analytes, including explosives and toxic industrial chemicals (amines and pungent acids). A 108-dimensional vector obtained from the fluorescent color change in the sensing array is defined and directly treated as an index in a standard chemical library (30 kinds of volatile analytes and a control group). Hierarchical clustering analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA) indicated the diversity in electronic structures; saturated vapor pressure and miscibility of analytes are keys in differentiating the analytes, with electron-rich arenes and alkylamines enhancing fluorescence and electron-deficient analytes attenuating fluorescence. A support vector machine (SVM) works well to predict an unknown sample, reaching 99.5% accuracy. The excellent fluorescence stability (no fluorescence quenching after being exposed in air for one month) and high sensitivity (emission color changes within minutes when exposed to analytes) suggest that the fluorescent polymer-based electronic nose will play an important role in field detection and identification of a wide spreading of hazardous substances.