An optoelectronic sensing device for CO detection in air based on a binuclear rhodium complex

Autores UPV
Revista Sensors and Actuators B Chemical


The design, fabrication and validation of an optoelectronic sensor implemented in an easy-to-use portable device for the selective and sensitive detection of CO in air is reported herein. The system is based on the colour changes observed in the binuclear rhodium complex of formula [Rh2[(C6H4)P(C6H5)2]2(O2CCF3)2](CF3CO2H)2(1) upon coordinating CO molecules in axial positions. Complex 1 is used supported on cellulose chromatography paper. In this support, colour changes to the naked eye are observed for CO concentrations above 50 ppm. The probe is also implemented in a simple portable optoelectronic device.The cellulose support containing probe 1 in this device is placed inside a small dark chamber, is illuminated with a tricolour LED emitting at 624, 525 and 470 nm, respectively corresponding to red (R), green (G) and blue (B) light, and reflected light is detected by a photodiode. With a transimpedance amplifier, the current generated by the photodiode is transformed into a voltage compatible with the 10-bit analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) port. Colour changes are measured as the distance d between the R, G and B data of the blank (probe without CO) and that for a certain CO concentration. Typical calibration curves are fitted using a bi-exponential equation. This system offers a typical response time of a few minutes (ca. 7 min) and a limit of detection of 11 ppm. The probe in the cellulose supports is also highly reversible.The optoelectronic device is portable (dimensions 14 ¿ 8.5 ¿ 3.5 cm; weighs approximately 270 g) and is powered by AA batteries. In addition, no variations in experimental parameter d upon exposure to CO2, N2, O2, Ar, water-saturated air and vapours of chloroform, hexane, ethanol, acetone, methane, toluene or formaldehyde are observed. Besides, colour changes are found for acetonitrile vapour, NO and NO2, but only at high concentrations. For validation purposes, the device was used to determine the CO present in the 4-shed accumulated smoke of two cigarette types after passing smokers¿ lungs.