Organic Gas Sensor with an Improved Lifetime for Detecting Breath Ammonia in Hemodialysis Patients

Ming Yen Chuang, Chang Chiang Chen*, Hsiao-Wen Zan, Hsin-Fei Meng, Chia Jung Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


In this work, a TFB (poly[(9,9-dioctylfluorenyl-2,7-diyl)-co-(4,4′-(N-(4-s-butylphenyl)diphenylamine)]) sensor with a cylindrical nanopore structure exhibits a high sensitivity to ammonia in ppb-regime. The lifetime and sensitivity of the TFB sensor were studied and compared to those of P3HT (poly(3-hexylthiophene)), NPB (N,N′-di(1-naphthyl)-N,N′-diphenyl-(1,1′-biphenyl)-4,4′-diamine), and TAPC (4,4′-cyclohexylidenebis[N,N-bis(4-methylphenyl) benzenamine]) sensors with the same cylindrical nanopore structures. The TFB sensor outstands the others in sensitivity and lifetime and it shows a sensing response (current variation ratio) of 13% to 100 ppb ammonia after 64 days of storage in air. A repeated sensing periods testing and a long-term measurement have also been demonstrated for the test of robustness. The performance of the TFB sensor is stable in both tests, which reveals that the TFB sensor can be utilized in our targeting clinical trials. In the last part of this work, we study the change of ammonia concentration in the breath of hemodialysis (HD) patients before and after dialysis. An obvious drop of breath ammonia concentration can be observed after dialysis. The reduction of breath ammonia is also correlated with the reduction of blood urea nitrogen (BUN). A correlation coefficient of 0.82 is achieved. The result implies that TFB sensor may be used as a real-time and low cost breath ammonia sensor for the daily tracking of hemodialysis patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1788-1795
Number of pages8
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number12
StatePublished - 22 Dec 2017


  • ammonia
  • breath
  • gas sensor
  • hemodialysis
  • lifetime
  • organic


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