Cu-based metal-organic framework (MOF) microdevices are applied in sampling and preconcentration of nerve agents (NAs) diluted in gaseous streams. An in situ electrochemical-assisted synthesis of a Cu-benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylate (BTC) thick film is carried out to functionalize a Cu-modified glass substrate. This simple, rapid, reproducible, and easy-to-integrate MOF synthesis approach enables the microfabrication of functional micro-preconcentrators with a large Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area (above 2000 cm2) and an active pore volume (above 90 nL) for the efficient adsorption of nerve agent molecules along the microfluidic channel 2.5 cm in length. The equilibrium adsorption capacity of the bulk material has been characterized through thermogravimetric analysis after exposure to controlled atmospheres of a sarin gas surrogate, dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), in both dry and humid conditions (30% RH at 293 K). Breakthrough tests at the ppm level (162 mg/m3) reveal equilibrium adsorption capacities up to 691 mg/g. The preconcentration performance of such μ-devices when dealing with highly diluted surrogate atmosphere, i.e., 520 ppbV (2.6 mg/m3) at 298 K, leads to preconcentration coefficients up to 171 for sample volume up to 600 STP cm3. We demonstrate the potentialities of Cu-BTC micro-preconcentrators as smart first responder tools for "on-field" detection of nerve agents in the gas phase at relevant conditions.
- co-adsorbed water vapor
- copper-modified glass substrates
- integration of metal-organic framework films
- nerve agents capture
- threshold current density