Thermoelectric chemical sensor based on single wall carbon nanotubes

G. U. Sumanasekera, B. K. Pradhan, C. K.W. Adu, H. E. Romero, H. C. Foley, P. C. Eklund

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Thermoelectric properties of single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNT) are quite sensitive to gases in contact with the tube walls. This effect makes possible a thermoelectric chemical sensor. Large, reversible swings in thermoelectric power (S), sometimes even involving sign changes in S, have been observed. Even contact of the SWNTs with He and N2 and H2 result in easily detectable and reversible changes in S. Smaller, polar alcohol molecules stimulate a large thermoelectric response, although H2O has no effect. For adsorption of six membered ring molecules C6Hn in SWNTs, the large thermoelectric response observed for Benzene (n = 6) is seen to decrease as the π electrons in the molecule are removed, and the coupling between the molecules and the SWNT is thereby reduced. These effects are discussed in terms of the diffusion thermopower for a rope, and a new scattering channel associated with adsorbed molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)[255]/31-[261]/37
JournalMolecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals Science and Technology Section A: Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals
Issue numberPART 2
StatePublished - 2002
EventProceedings of the First International Symposium on Nanocarbons - Nagano, Japan
Duration: Nov 14 2001Nov 16 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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