Intelligent Mobile Electronic Nose System Comprising a Hybrid Polymer-Functionalized Quartz Crystal Microbalance Sensor Array
We devised a low-cost mobile electronic nose (e-nose) system using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) sensor array functionalized with various polymer-based thin active films (i.e., polyacrylonitrile, poly(vinylidene fluoride), poly(vinyl pyrrolidone), and poly(vinyl acetate)). It works based on the gravimetric detection principle, where the additional mass of the adsorbed molecules on the polymer surface can induce QCM resonance frequency shifts. To collect and process the obtained sensing data sets, a multichannel data acquisition (DAQ) circuitry was developed and calibrated using a function generator resulting in a device frequency resolution of 0.5 Hz. Four prepared QCM sensors demonstrated various sensitivity levels with high reproducibility and consistency under exposure to seven different volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Moreover, two types of machine learning algorithms (i.e., linear discriminant analysis and support vector machine models) were employed to differentiate and classify those tested analytes, in which classification accuracies of up to 98 and 99% could be obtained, respectively. This high-performance e-nose system is expected to be used as a versatile sensing platform for performing reliable qualitative and quantitative analyses in complex gaseous mixtures containing numerous VOCs for early disease diagnosis and environmental quality monitoring.