Array of Love-wave sensors based on quartz/Novolac to detect CWA simulants.

PMID 21807207


An array of Love-wave sensors based on quartz and Novolac has been developed to detect chemical warfare agents (CWAs). These weapons are a risk for human health due to their efficiency and high lethality; therefore an early and clear detection is of enormous importance for the people safety. Love-wave devices realized on quartz as piezoelectric substrate and Novolac as guiding layer have been used to make up an array of six sensors, which have been coated with specific polymers by spin coating. The CWAs are very dangerous and for safety reasons their well known simulants have been used: dimethylmethyl phosphonate (DMMP), dipropyleneglycol methyl ether (DPGME), dimethylmethyl acetamide (DMA), dichloroethane (DCE), dichloromethane (DCM) and dichloropentane (DCP). The array has been exposed to these CWA simulants detecting very low concentrations, such as 25 ppb of DMMP, a simulant of nerve agent sarin. Finally, principal component analysis (PCA) as data pre-processing and discrimination technique, and probabilistic neural networks (PNN) as patterns classification technique have been applied. The performance of the sensor array has shown stability, accuracy, high sensitivity and good selectivity to these simulants.