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Sensors 2011, 11(3), 2478-2487; doi:10.3390/s110302478

Laser Chemosensor with Rapid Responsivity and Inherent Memory Based on a Polymer of Intrinsic Microporosity

1
Organic Semiconductor Centre, SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS, UK
2
School of Chemistry, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3AT, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 December 2010 / Revised: 1 February 2011 / Accepted: 10 February 2011 / Published: 28 February 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Resonant Microsensors)
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Abstract

This work explores the use of a polymer of intrinsic microporosity (PIM-1) as the active layer within a laser sensor to detect nitroaromatic-based explosive vapors. We show successful detection of dinitrobenzene (DNB) by monitoring the real-time photoluminescence. We also show that PIM-1 has an inherent memory, so that it accumulates the analyte during exposure. In addition, the optical gain and refractive index of the polymer were studied by amplified spontaneous emission and variable-angle ellipsometry, respectively. A second-order distributed feedback PIM-1 laser sensor was fabricated and found to show an increase in laser threshold of 2.5 times and a reduction of the laser slope efficiency by 4.4 times after a 5-min exposure to the DNB vapor. For pumping at 2 times threshold, the lasing action was stopped within 30 s indicating that PIM-1 has a very fast responsivity and as such has a potential sensing ability for ultra-low-concentration explosives. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymer of intrinsic microporosity; organic semiconductor; distributed feedback laser; explosive detection; chemosensors polymer of intrinsic microporosity; organic semiconductor; distributed feedback laser; explosive detection; chemosensors
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Wang, Y.; McKeown, N.B.; Msayib, K.J.; Turnbull, G.A.; Samuel, I.D.W. Laser Chemosensor with Rapid Responsivity and Inherent Memory Based on a Polymer of Intrinsic Microporosity. Sensors 2011, 11, 2478-2487.

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