Fast responding exhaled-breath sensors using WO3 hemitubes functionalized by graphene-based electronic sensitizers for diagnosis of diseases

Seon Jin Choi, Franz Fuchs, Renaud Demadrille, Benjamin Grévin, Bong Hoon Jang, Seo Jin Lee, Jong Heun Lee, Harry L. Tuller, Il Doo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


Diagnostic sensing device using exhaled breath of human have critical advantages due to the noninvasive diagnosis and high potential for portable device with simple analysis process. Here, we report ultrafast as well as highly sensitive bumpy WO3 hemitube nanostructure assisted by O2 plasma surface modification with functionalization of graphene-based material for the detection of acetone (CH3COCH3) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) which are biomarkers for the diagnosis of diabetes and halitosis, respectively. 0.1 wt % graphene oxide (GO)- and 0.1 wt % thin layered graphite (GR)- WO3 hemitube composites showed response times of 11.5 ± 2.5 s and 13.5 ± 3.4 s to 1 ppm acetone as well as 12.5 ± 1.9 s and 10.0 ± 1.6 s to 1 ppm of H2S, respectively. In addition, low limits of detection (LOD) of 100 ppb (Rair/R gas = 1.7 for acetone and Rair/Rgas = 3.3 for H2S at 300 °C) were achieved. The superior sensing properties were ascribed to the electronic sensitization of graphene based materials by modulating space charged layers at the interfaces between n-type WO3 hemitubes and p-type graphene based materials, as identified by Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM). Rapid response and superior sensitivity of the proposed sensing materials following cyclic thermal aging demonstrates good potential for real-time exhaled breath diagnosis of diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9061-9070
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun 25


  • diagnosis of diseases
  • electrospinning
  • exhaled breath sensor
  • graphene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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