Translating Catalysis to Chemiresistive Sensing

Vera Schroeder, Timothy M. Swager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Activating molecules or functional groups with high chemoselectivity in complex environments is the central goal of transition-metal-based catalysis. Promoting strong interactions between a selected substrate and a catalytic system can also be used to create highly selective and customizable sensors, and these concepts are widely recognized for enzymatic processes. We demonstrate the successful translation of organometallic reactions to sensing capability. Specifically, we have developed single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) chemiresistive sensors for the highly selective detection of acrylates using conditions for the aerobic oxidative Heck reaction. The sensors mirror the catalytic processes and selectively respond to electron-deficient alkenes by adapting a catalytic reaction system to modulate the doping levels in carbon nanotubes. The sensors readily detect acrylates at parts per million (ppm) levels in untreated air. The concepts presented here are generally applicable and can guide future sensor development based upon known catalytic processes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10721-10725
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 14 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): CRF-2015-SENSORS-2719
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the KAUST sensor project CRF-2015-SENSORS-2719. We thank Dr. Joseph Walish for fabricating the gas enclosures.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


Dive into the research topics of 'Translating Catalysis to Chemiresistive Sensing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this