Progress toward the concept of "a trillion sensor universe" requires sensor devices to become more abundant, ubiquitous, and be potentially disposable. Here, we report a paper-based disposable molecular sensor device constructed from a nanowire sensor based on common zinc oxide (ZnO), a wood-derived biodegradable cellulose nanofiber paper substrate, and a low-cost graphite electrode. The ZnO nanowire/cellulose nanofiber composite structure is embedded in the surface of the cellulose nanofiber paper substrate via a two-step papermaking process. This structure provides a mechanically robust and efficiently bridged network for the nanowire sensor, while ensuring efficient access to target molecules and allowing reliable electrical contact with electrodes. The as-fabricated paper sensor device with pencil-drawn graphite electrodes exhibits efficient resistance change-based molecular sensing of NO 2 as a model gas. The performance of our device is comparable to that of noble metal electrodes. Furthermore, we demonstrate cut-and-paste usability and easy disposal of the sensor device with its uniform in-plane sensing properties. Our strategy offers a disposable molecular sensing platform for use in future sensor network technologies.
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