A facile design of colourimetric polyurethane nanofibrous sensor containing natural indicator dye for detecting ammonia vapour

Pakolpakçıl A., Draczyński Z.

Materials, vol.14, no.22, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 22
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/ma14226949
  • Journal Name: Materials
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, INSPEC, Metadex, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Electrospinning, Gas detection, Nanofibre, Natural indicator dyes, Protective textiles, Sensor
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


Chemicals and industrial gases endanger both human health and the environment. The inhalation of colourless ammonia gas (NH3) can cause organ damage or even death in humans. Colourimetric materials are becoming more popular in the search for smart textiles for both fashion and specific occupational applications. Colourimetric textile sensors based on indicator dyes could be very useful for detecting strong gaseous conditions and monitoring gas leaks. In this study, black carrot extract (BCE) as a natural indicator dye and polyurethane (PU) polymer were used to develop a colourimetric sensor by electrospinning. The properties of the BCE/PU nanofibrous mats were characterized by the Fourier transform infrared spectrum (FTIR) and a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The BCE caused a change in the morphology of the PU nanofibrous mat. To evaluate the colour shift due to NH3 vapour, the BCE/PU nanofibrous mats were photographed by a camera, and software was used to obtain the quantitative colour data (CIE L*a*b). The BCE/PU nanofibrous exhibited a remarkable colour change from pink–red to green–blue under NH3 vapour conditions with a fast response time (≤30 s). These findings showed that colourimetric nanofibrous textile sensors could be a promising in situ material in protective clothing that changes colour when exposed to harmful gases.