Alveolus-Inspired Active Membrane Sensors for Self-Powered Wearable Chemical Sensing and Breath Analysis

Yuanjie Su, Jianjun Wang, Bo Wang, Tiannan Yang, Boxi Yang, Guangzhong Xie, Yihao Zhou, Songlin Zhang, Huiling Tai, Zhixiang Cai, Guorui Chen, Yadong Jiang, Long Qing Chen, Jun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

259 Scopus citations


Fossil fuel internal combustion engines generate and release a huge amount of nitrogen dioxide, leading to respiratory and allergic diseases such as asthma, pneumonia, and possibly tuberculosis. Here we develop an alveolus-inspired membrane sensor (AIMS) for self-powered wearable nitrogen dioxide detection and personal physiological assessment. The bionic AIMS exhibits an excellent sensitivity up to 452.44%, a good linearity of 0.976, and superior selectivity under a NO2 concentration of 50 ppm. Furthermore, the AIMS can also be employed to diagnose human breath behaviors for breath analysis. The fundamental sensing mechanism is established using a combination of thermodynamic analysis, finite-element analysis, and phase-field simulations. It is found that the depolarization field inside the sensitive materials plays a crucial role in the self-powered gas-sensing performance. This work not only provides an efficient, low-cost, portable, and environmentally friendly means for active environmental assessment and personal biomonitoring but also provides a deep understanding of the gas-sensing mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6067-6075
Number of pages9
JournalACS nano
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 26 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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