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Evaluating the Electronic NOSE

Contact Author Dr. Diana Hodgins, Don Conover
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Can an electronic instrument function like the human nose to analyze complex vapors? That is the question we set out to answer by submitting thirteen unlabeled samples supplied by Belle-Aire Fragrances for anafysis by the electronic NOSEa developed by Neotronics Scientific Limited, The answer may surprise you.

Concept of the Instrument The electronic NOSE uses patented conducting polymer sensors and a Windows -basedb software anafysis package to create simple ~sual an~ogs for complex vapors.

Sensors: Polymer sensors have been under development for around ten years and have recently been put into “ Ne.mmn%OcslfactmySI?nsi”Egquipment(NOSE) fromNeotro”icsScientific Limited,Essex,Engbmd ~ window, isutrzzdenameof MicmsoftCOT. manufacture, The basic material comprises a conducting polymer, a counterion and a solvent (Figure 1). Each sensor is nonspecific in that many different compounds will interact with the polymer material, each in varying degrees. These sensors may be fabricated using a number of techniques, the most favorable being electrochemical deposition. Sensor characteristics can be adjusted by altering the polymer, the counterion or the solvent. Thus, by using an array of different sensors, a broad vapor profile can be memured.

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