Laser-Deposited Carbon Aerogel Derived from Graphene Oxide Enables NO2-Selective Parts-per-Billion Sensing

Sebastian Nufer, Peter J. Lynch, Matthew J. Large, Sean P. Ogilvie, Jonathan P. Salvage, Mario Pelaez-Fernandez, Thomas Waters, Izabela Jurewicz, Edgar Muñoz, Raul Arenal, Ana M. Benito, Wolfgang K. Maser, Nikos Tagmatarchis, Christopher P. Ewels, Adam Brunton, Alan B. Dalton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Laser-deposited carbon aerogel is a low-density porous network of carbon clusters synthesized using a laser process. A one-step synthesis, involving deposition and annealing, results in the formation of a thin porous conductive film which can be applied as a chemiresistor. This material is sensitive to NO2 compared to ammonia and other volatile organic compounds and is able to detect ultra-low concentrations down to at least 10 parts-per-billion. The sensing mechanism, based on the solubility of NO2 in the water layer adsorbed on the aerogel, increases the usability of the sensor in practically relevant ambient environments. A heating step, achieved in tandem with a microheater, allows the recovery to the baseline, making it operable in real world environments. This, in combination with its low cost and scalable production, makes it promising for Internet-of-Things air quality monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39541-39548
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2020


  • carbon aerogel
  • chemiresistor
  • gas sensor
  • nitrogen dioxide
  • selective
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • SEM

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