Chip-Level Integration of Covalent Organic Frameworks for Trace Benzene Sensing

Hongye Yuan, Nanxi Li, Jiajun Linghu, Jinqiao Dong, Yuxiang Wang, Avishek Karmakar, Jiaren Yuan, Mengsha Li, Pio John S. Buenconsejo, Guoliang Liu, Hong Cai, Stephen John Pennycook, Navab Singh, Dan Zhao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


State-of-the-art chemical sensors based on covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are restricted to the transduction mechanism relying on luminescence quenching and/or enhancement. Herein, we present an alternative methodology via a combination of in situ-grown COF films with interdigitated electrodes utilized for capacitive benzene detection. The resultant COF-based sensors exhibit highly sensitive and selective detection at room temperature toward benzene vapor over carbon dioxide, methane, and propane. Their benzene detection limit can reach 340 ppb, slightly inferior to those of the metal oxide semiconductor-based sensors, but with reduced power consumption and increased selectivity. Such a sensing behavior can be attributed to the large dielectric constant of the benzene molecule, distinctive adsorptivity of the chosen COF toward benzene, and structural distortion induced by the custom-made interaction pair, which is corroborated by sorption measurements and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. This study provides new perspectives for fabricating COF-based sensors with specific functionality targeted for selective gas detection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1474-1481
Number of pages8
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • benzene detection
  • capacitive gas sensing
  • covalent organic frameworks
  • in situ film growth
  • sub-ppm level

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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