Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2023


Gold Nanoparticles, Breath Sensor, Sensor Technology, Cancer Detection, Thin Film

Degree Name

Chemistry (BA, BS)



First Advisor

Dr. Chuan-Jian Zhong


Science and Mathematics

Subject Heading(s)

Gold -- Diagnostic use ; Volatile organic compounds -- Detection ; Lungs -- Cancer -- Detection


Lung cancer is one of the most common and fatal cancers today, infecting 1 in 16 people, and killing well over a million patients per year. Currently, lung cancer is detected usually in stages three and four by quite costly and invasive methods, which shows only a survival rate of 10%. Breath sensors provide a low-cost and non-invasive technique for early screening of lung cancer. The breath sensors use assemblies of gold nanoparticles to identify lung cancer, specifically by identifying and quantifying specific volatile organic compound (VOC) concentrations found in the breath of lung cancer patients. This thesis describes a study of the synthesis and preparation of gold nanoparticle sensing films for breath sensor application. The objective of this work is to develop stable composite sensing films with gold nanoparticles of a few nanometer sizes synthesized via chemical reduction and characterize them using TEM and UV/Vis spectroscopy. The nanocomposite materials promote long-term stability and display sensitive responses to VOCs. The breath sensors are promising for identifying the concentration of VOCs in future use as a diagnostic tool.

Included in

Chemistry Commons