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Pure Appl. Chem., 2002, Vol. 74, No. 9, pp. 1753-1772

Sensors and sensor arrays based on conjugated polymers and carbon nanotubes

Liming Dai, Prabhu Soundarrajan and Taehyung Kim*

Department of Polymer Engineering, College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44304-2909, USA

Abstract: The need for cheaper, faster, and more accurate measurements has been a driving force for the development of new sensing devices. As is well known, the electrical conductivity of conjugated polymers can be reliably regulated over a wide range through interactions with electron acceptors and donors. This, together with the fast optical dynamics (either in the ground or excited states) of most conjugated polymers, has made conjugated polymers very attractive as transducer-active materials. On the other hand, the unusual electronic, mechanical, and thermal properties of carbon nanotubes have also led to their potential use in a wide range of devices, including sensors. In particular, the ability of carbon nanotubes and their derivatives to operate as gas and glucose sensors has been recently demonstrated. This article provides a status review on the research and development of sensors and sensor arrays based on conjugated polymers and carbon nanotubes. The unique features characteristic of most reported sensing transduction modes related to conjugated polymers and carbon nanotubes are discussed, along with their pros and cons.