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  Chemical Sensors 2014, 4: 8
  Research Article
Polyacrylonitrile nanofibrous membranes functionalized by polyethyleneimine on quartz crystal microbalance for formaldehyde detection
  Wei Huanga, Xueqin Wangb, Yang Sib, Yan Lia, Xueli Wangb, Jianyong Yub, Bin Dinga,b, Gang Zhengc, Wenjing Luoc  
a College of Textiles, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China
b Nanomaterials Research Center, Modern Textile Institute, Donghua University, Shanghai 200051, China
c Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of PublicHealth, Fourth Military Medical University, 169 Changle West Road,Xi’an, Shaanxi 710032, China

  A facile, sensitive, selective, and reproductive formaldehyde sensor has been developed based on polymer modified quartz crystal microbalance (QCM). A nanostructured complex, polyethyleneimine (PEI) functionalized electrospun polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibrous membranes (PEI-PAN) is utilized as a novel sensing coatings on QCM. Taking advantage of the large surface area, high porosity, and large stacking density of electrospun nanofibrous membranes, the sensors achieved a low detection limit of 1 ppm and a fast response. Moreover, the sensitivity of PEI-PAN fibrous membranes coated QCM sensors are two times higher than PEI flat film ones as formaldehyde concentration is 1 ppm. Furthermore, based on the reversible nucleophilic reaction between formaldehyde and primary amine groups of PEI, the sensors exhibit good selectivity and reproducibility. Hence, such a promising QCM sensor could potentially not only be used to detect formaldehyde, but also facilitate the design and development of novel sensing systems based on nanofibrous membranes.
  Quartz crystal microbalance (QCM); Electrospun nanofibrous membranes; Polyethyleneimine (PEI); Formaldehyde sensor  

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