Development and evaluation of an acylating agent detector using surface acoustic wave devices

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Virginia Tech

The monitoring of harmful ambient vapors is of major concern in the industrial environment. To this end, the development of systems which detect and respond in real time to specific vapors is a highly desirable goal.

Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) devices have been used for chemical analysis since 1978. While sensitive to mass changes occurring on their surfaces, they are not selective to the mass they will detect. Their use as chemical sensors requires the development of specificity for a vapor (or class of vapors) using selective chemical reagents suspended in film media that can have their permeability easily changed.

This dissertation presents the development of an automated dosimeter for the detection of phosgene using SAW devices. By changing the film media from a very permeable material to a film exhibiting less permeability, the analytical range of the device using the same suspended selective chemical reagent is expanded to concentrations which the very permeable film is incapable of accurately measuring.