Date of Completion

Spring 5-16-2019

Thesis Advisor(s)

Brian G. Willis

Honors Major

Chemical Engineering


Other Chemical Engineering | Semiconductor and Optical Materials


Chemical vapor sensors possess a number of uses in a variety of fields, from environmental and health monitoring to food safety and national security concerns, such as the detection of improvised explosive devices. Many sensors currently in the market have the ability to detect the presence of a select few compounds and measure the concentration at which the species is present. However, these types of sensors require that the vapor to be investigated is known beforehand; they cannot be used for identification except on a case by case basis. In response to this issue, one branch of vapor sensor research has turned toward the development of an array of sensors that can be used to simulate an electronic nose. These sensors together would have the ability to identify unknown vapors, therefore improving not only the sensitivity, but more importantly, the selectivity of these sensors for one vapor over another. In this research, a thermodynamic model was developed to simulate the responses of chemical vapor sensors based on the interaction between each sensor material and a large number of volatile chemicals. The thermodynamic model is combined with a model for the electrical resistance for chemiresistor sensors to simulate device responses and compare with experimental data.