Performance Test of a Sensor Array - Based Odor Detection Instrument

Arief S Yuwono, Peter S Lammers


A laboratory performance test of a new odor detection instrument based on a quartz crystal
microbalance (QCM) sensor array was conducted in the Department of Agricultural
Engineering, University of Bonn. The performance test includes the sensor’s response time
to the presence of odor, sensor sensitivity and detection limit, sensor frequency stability, the
influence of water content on the sensor frequency change and the response pattern of the
sensor array to the presence of odor substances at various concentrations. In the test, nine
odor substances were used as odor samples, i.e., acetone, acetic acid, 2-butanone, 1-butanol,
ethanol, ethyl acetate, hexane, limonene, and methanol. The results showed that the QCM
sensor array was responsive to all nine odor compounds in the gas phase. The frequency of
the sensor array was stable. The sensitivity and detection limit of the sensor array were
improved after the installation of a thermal desorber preconcentration unit.

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