Detecting alcohol vapors using two-dimensional copper-based Ruddlesden-Popper perovskites

Bart G. H. M. Groeneveld, Maria Antonietta Loi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The detection of alcohol vapors has many important applications, such as measuring the breath ethanol content to prevent drug-impaired driving. A medical application is the detection of 1-propanol because this compound was found to be a potential marker for lung cancer screening. This work reports an alcohol sensor using the two-dimensional Ruddlesden-Popper perovskite bis(phenethylammonium) tetrachlorocuprate-(PEA)(2)CuCl4, also known as phenethylammonium copper chloride-as the sensing material. The device is based on a change in conductance upon exposure to alcohol vapors. A comparison between pristine (PEA)(2)CuCl4 and (PEA)(2)CuCl4 after a treatment with ultraviolet light shows that the latter has a higher conductance. Devices made with this UV-converted material show a strong response to 1-propanol vapors, starting from a concentration around 2000 parts per million (ppm). Additionally, these devices demonstrate stable behavior in a nitrogen atmosphere. During the stabilization of the 1-propanol flow rate, the concentration fluctuates. These fluctuations were detected by monitoring the current of the device over time, down to steps in 100ppm around a concentration of 8000ppm. The conductance of the devices decreases in contact with air. However, this process can be reversed by additional ultraviolet illumination, thereby making the devices reusable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number221903
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 30-Nov-2020



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