Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/acp-2016-1077
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
16 Dec 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
A smart nanofibrous material for adsorbing and real-time detecting elemental mercury in air
Antonella Macagnano2, Viviana Perri1, Emiliano Zampetti2, Andrea Bearzotti2, Fabrizio De Cesare4, Francesca Sprovieri3, and Nicola Pirrone2 1University of Calabria, via Pietro Bucci, Arcavacata, Rende 87036 (CS), Italy
2Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research-CNR, Via Salaria km 29,300 Montelibretti 00016 (RM), Italy
3Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research-CNR, Division of Rende, c/o UNICAL-Polifunzionale Arcavacata, Rende 87036 (CS) Italy
4DIBAF-University of Tuscia, Via S. Camillo de Lellis, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Abstract. The combination of gold affinity for mercury with nanosized frameworks has allowed to design and fabricate novel kinds of sensors with promising sensing features for environmental applications. Specifically, conductive sensors based on composite nanofibrous electrospun layers of titania easily decorated with gold nanoparticles were developed to obtain nanostructured hybrid materials, capable of entrapping and revealing GEM traces from environment. The electrical properties of the resulting chemosensors were measured. Few minutes of air sampling were sufficient to detect the concentration of mercury in the air, in the range between 20–100 ppb, without using traps or gas carriers (LOD ~ 1.5 ppb). Longer measurements allowed the sensor to detect lower concentrations of GEM. The resulting chemosensors are expected to be low-cost, very stable (due to the peculiar structure), and requiring low power, low maintenance and simple equipment to work.

Citation: Macagnano, A., Perri, V., Zampetti, E., Bearzotti, A., De Cesare, F., Sprovieri, F., and Pirrone, N.: A smart nanofibrous material for adsorbing and real-time detecting elemental mercury in air, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-1077, in review, 2016.
Antonella Macagnano et al.
Antonella Macagnano et al.
Antonella Macagnano et al.

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Short summary
Exploiting the photocatalytic properties of electrospun titania nanofibers, a novel conductometric sensor was designed and fabricated to entrap and detect GEM in air. Such a sensor was able to work at room temperature and was highly sensitive to elemental mercury. Since it is composed of titania and gold nanoparticles, it sounds to be robust and resistant to common solvents and VOCs commonly in the air.
Exploiting the photocatalytic properties of electrospun titania nanofibers, a novel...
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