Electrical Response of Poly(N-[3-(dimethylamino)Propyl] Methacrylamide) to CO2 at a Long Exposure Period

ACS Omega 2022 Volume 7, Pages 22232-22243

Amine-functionalized polymers (AFPs) are able to react with carbon dioxide (CO2) and are therefore useful in CO2 capture and sensing. To develop AFP-based CO2 sensors, it is critical to examine their electrical responses to CO2 over long periods of time, so that the device can be used consistently for measuring CO2 concentration. To this end, we synthesized poly(N-[3-(dimethylamino)propyl] methacrylamide) (pDMAPMAm) by free radical polymerization and tested its ability to behave as a CO2-responsive polymer in a transducer. The electrical response of this polymer to CO2 upon long exposure times was measured in both the aqueous and solid phases. Direct current resistance measurement tests on pDMAPMAm films printed along with the silver electrodes in the presence of CO2 at various concentrations reveal a two-region electrical response. Upon continuous exposure to different CO2 flow rates (at a constant pressure of 0.2 MPa), the resistance first decreased over time, reaching a minimum, followed by a gradual increase with further exposure to CO2. A similar trend is observed when CO2 is introduced to an aqueous solution of pDMAPMAm. The in situ monitoring of pH suggests that the change in resistance of pDMAPMAm can be attributed to the protonation of tertiary amine groups in the presence of CO2. This two-region response of pDMAPMAm is based on a proton-hopping mechanism and a change in the number of free amines when pDMAPMAm is exposed to various levels of CO2.