Carbon nanotube films as a platform to transduce molecular recognition events in metalloporphyrins

M. Penza, M. Alvisi, R. Rossi, E. Serra, R. Paolesse, A. D'Amico, C. Di Natale

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Porphyrins have been widely used for many years as functional materials for chemical sensors. Their outstanding chemical features are balanced by some restrictions in terms of transduction techniques. In particular, porphyrin layers are barely conductive, with the consequence that the fabrication of porphyrin based chemiresistors is not possible, except in few rare cases. On the other hand, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have superior electric properties ranging from metallic to semiconductor in character. Although the conductivity of CNTs is very sensitive to adsorbed molecules, it should be considered that the adsorption onto carbon structures is also scarcely selective and cannot be modified unless other molecular recognition systems are coupled with the CNTs. Following this approach, in this paper we investigated the sensing properties of hybrid CNT-porphyrin films to explore the possibility of transducing the adsorption events occurring in a porphyrin layer into resistance changes of the CNT layers. The results obtained indicate that the presence of the porphyrin films increases the sensitivity of the electric resistance of the CNTs to the concentration of volatile compounds. This enhancement is probably due to the catalytic effect of the metalloporphyrin in conveying the charge transfer from the adsorbate molecule to the CNTs substrate. This property of metalloporphyrins may introduce a further differentiation between porphyrin based sensors that could be positively utilized in sensor array configurations. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd Printed in the UK & the USA.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125502
Pages (from-to)-
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Science(all)

Cite this

Penza, M., Alvisi, M., Rossi, R., Serra, E., Paolesse, R., D'Amico, A., & Di Natale, C. (2011). Carbon nanotube films as a platform to transduce molecular recognition events in metalloporphyrins. Nanotechnology, 22(12), -. [125502].