Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Materials Science and Engineering (M.S.M.S.E)

Degree Granting Department

Chemical Engineering

Major Professor

Venkat Bhethanabotla, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jason Fleming, M.D.

Committee Member

Ramesh Ayyala, M.D.


Benzene, Carcinogens, Rayleigh, Surface Acoustic Waves, Toluene


Light aromatic hydrocarbons are an inevitable byproduct of fossil fuel extraction, refinement, distribution, and use. The four lightest and most prevalent of these are benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene, which are known collectively as BTEX. In spite of their chemical similarity these species have markedly different effects on human health and substantially different concentrations are permitted by OSHA in workplaces and by the EPA in ambient air and groundwater. Real-time detection, identification, and quantification of these species is therefore of great importance wherever they see industrial use.This work represents the continuation and advancement of a line of research in which surface acoustic wave sensors were used to measure the mass of benzene sorbed from the vapor phase onto a polymer-plasticizer layer. In this work a dual delay line was used to mitigate the effects of environmental noise and PEMA-DIOA sorption layers of varying plasticizer concentrations were exposed to benzene and toluene vapors having concentrations ranging from 500 ppm down to the limit of detection.