Purpose: The purpose of this preliminary study is to investigate the capability of
Graphene Oxide (GO) coated Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) sensor for the detection of
cancerous related volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Methodology: The detection of selected six polar and two non-polar VOCs is mainly based
on the selectivity and sensitivity of the graphene oxide (GO) films in parts per million (ppm)
concentrations. The GO solutions with different concentrations (0.1, 0.5 and 1.0 mg/ml) were
coated using the drop coating technique on the both sides of QCM surfaces. These experiments
were conducted to study the effect of different GO concentration. An experimental setup
was prepared to measure the frequency changes (Δf) of QCM when the sensors were exposed
to the synthetic VOCs. In addition, the adsorption characteristic of GO on each odour
sample was explained in detail. The surface modifications of QCM with GO film were studied
using Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM).
Findings: The results showed that the QCM coated with 1mg/ml was able to respond to minimum
concentration of 0.5ppm VOCs. The sensitivity of QCM sensor was observed to be linearly
correlated with the (VOCs) concentration given in part per million (ppm). The results
demonstrate that the GO coated QCM exhibits high sensitivity and selectivity towards alcohol
based vapours. The exposure of each vapour was observed to give different response value.
The patterns of the vapour responses were different according to the functional groups.
The sensor was also observed to deliver a consistent response under several repetitions. The
sensor also exhibited rapid response-recovery performance. Thus, this formulation of GOcoated
QCM shows high potential to be a non-invasive cancer screening tool.
Originality: This initial study, a low-cost and reproducible GO-QCM based to detect cancerrelated
VOCs was investigated. The high sensitivity to polar VOCs and good selectivity information
can be referred to classify the cancer types accordingly.