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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2009, Article ID 160698, 16 pages
Review Article

Carbon Nanotubes as Active Components for Gas Sensors

Nano Science Research Center, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, South China University of Technology, 381 Wushan Road, Guangzhou 510640, China

Received 24 December 2008; Revised 30 March 2009; Accepted 13 April 2009

Academic Editor: Michele Penza

Copyright © 2009 Wei-De Zhang and Wen-Hui Zhang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The unique structure of carbon nanotubes endows them with fantastic physical and chemical characteristics. Carbon nanotubes have been widely studied due to their potential applications in many fields including conductive and high-strength composites, energy storage and energy conversion devices, sensors, field emission displays and radiation sources, hydrogen storage media, and nanometer-sized semiconductor devices, probes, and quantum wires. Some of these applications have been realized in products, while others show great potentials. The development of carbon nanotubes-based sensors has attracted intensive interest in the last several years because of their excellent sensing properties such as high selectivity and prompt response. Carbon nanotube-based gas sensors are summarized in this paper. Sensors based on single-walled, multiwalled, and well-aligned carbon nanotubes arrays are introduced. Modification of carbon nanotubes with functional groups, metals, oxides, polymers, or doping carbon nanotubes with other elements to enhance the response and selectivity of the sensors is also discussed.