Sensing devices based on a surface acoustic wave ("SAW") device coated with an absorbent crystalline or amorphous layer for detecting at least one chemical analyte in a gaseous carrier. Methods for detecting the presence of a chemical analyte in a gaseous carrier using such devices are also disclosed. The sensing devices and methods for their use may be configured for sensing chemical analytes selected from the group consisting of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methanol, ethanol, carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, nitrous oxide, organic amines, organic compounds containing NO.sub.2 groups, halogenated hydrocarbons, acetone, hexane, toluene, isopropanol, alcohols, alkanes, alkenes, benzene, functionalized aromatics, ammonia (NH.sub.3), phosgene (COCl.sub.2), sulfur mustard, nerve agents, sulfur dioxide, tetrahydrofuran (THF) and methyltertbutyl ether (MTBE) and combinations thereof.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 between the United States Department of Energy and Sandia Corporation for the operation of the Sandia National Laboratories.