Real-time characterization of electrospun PVP nanofibers as sensitive layer of a surface acoustic wave device for gas detection

D. Matatagui, M.J. Fernández, J.P. Santos, J. Fontecha, I. Sayago, M.C. Horrillo, I. Gràcia, C. Cané.
Journal of Nanomaterials. 243037

The goal of this work has been to study the polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) fibers deposited by means of the electrospinning technique for using as sensitive layer in surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The electrospinning process of the fibers has been monitored and RF characterized in real time, and it has been shown that the diameters of the fibers depend mainly on two variables: the applied voltage and the distance between the needle and the collector, since all the electrospun fibers have been characterized by a scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Real-time measurement during the fiber coating process has shown that the depth of penetration of mechanical perturbation in the fiber layer has a limit. It has been demonstrated that once this saturation has been reached, the increase of the thickness of the fibers coating does not improve the sensitivity of the sensor. Finally, the parameters used to deposit the electrospun fibers of smaller diameters have been used to deposit fibers on a SAW device to obtain a sensor to measure different concentrations of toluene at room temperature. The present sensor exhibited excellent sensitivity, good linearity and repeatability, and high and fast response to toluene at room temperature.

Acknowledgments

This work has been supported by the Spanish Science and Innovation Ministry under the Project TEC2010-21357-C05- 04.The authors want to thank University of Extremadura for SEM analysis.

Grupo de I+D en Sensores