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Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1306; doi:10.3390/molecules22081306

Fluorescent Polystyrene Films for the Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds Using the Twisted Intramolecular Charge Transfer Mechanism

1
Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale, Università di Pisa, Via G. Moruzzi 13, 56124 Pisa, Italy
2
INSTM, UdR Pisa, Via G. Moruzzi 13, 56124 Pisa, Italy
Dedicated to Professor Ben Zhong Tang on the occasion of his 60th birthday.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 31 July 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 6 August 2017
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Abstract

Thin films of styrene copolymers containing fluorescent molecular rotors were demonstrated to be strongly sensitive to volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Styrene copolymers of 2-[4-vinyl(1,1′-biphenyl)-4′-yl]-cyanovinyljulolidine (JCBF) were prepared with different P(STY-co-JCBF)(m) compositions (m% = 0.10–1.00) and molecular weights of about 12,000 g/mol. Methanol solutions of JCBF were not emissive due to the formation of the typical twisted intramolecular charge transfer (TICT) state at low viscosity regime, which formation was effectively hampered by adding progressive amounts of glycerol. The sensing performances of the spin-coated copolymer films (thickness of about 4 µm) demonstrated significant vapochromism when exposed to VOCs characterized by high vapour pressure and favourable interaction with the polymer matrix such as THF, CHCl3 and CH2Cl2. The vapochromic response was also reversible and reproducible after successive exposure cycles, whereas the fluorescence variation scaled linearly with VOC concentration, thus suggesting future applications as VOC optical sensors. View Full-Text
Keywords: fluorescent molecular rotors; polymer films; VOC; vapochromism fluorescent molecular rotors; polymer films; VOC; vapochromism
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MDPI and ACS Style

Borelli, M.; Iasilli, G.; Minei, P.; Pucci, A. Fluorescent Polystyrene Films for the Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds Using the Twisted Intramolecular Charge Transfer Mechanism. Molecules 2017, 22, 1306.

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