A smart nanofibrous material for adsorbing and real-time detecting elemental mercury in air
Other literature type
(issn: 1680-7324, eissn: 1680-7324)
The combination of gold affinity for mercury with nanosized frameworks has allowed to design and fabricate novel kinds of sensors with promising sensing features for environmental applications. Specifically, conductive sensors based on composite nanofibrous electrospun layers of titania easily decorated with gold nanoparticles were developed to obtain nanostructured hybrid materials, capable of entrapping and revealing GEM traces from environment. The electrical properties of the resulting chemosensors were measured. Few minutes of air sampling were sufficient to detect the concentration of mercury in the air, in the range between 20–100 ppb, without using traps or gas carriers (LOD ~ 1.5 ppb). Longer measurements allowed the sensor to detect lower concentrations of GEM. The resulting chemosensors are expected to be low-cost, very stable (due to the peculiar structure), and requiring low power, low maintenance and simple equipment to work.