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Sensors 2009, 9(12), 9816-9857; doi:10.3390/s91209816

Molecular Sensing by Nanoporous Crystalline Polymers

1
Optoelectronic Division, Engineering Department, University of Sannio, Benevento 82100, Italy
2
Institute of Composite Materials Technology National, Research Council (ITMC-CNR), Portici, Napoli 80055, Italy
3
Department of Materials and Production Engineering and INSTM Research Unit, University of Naples Federico II, P.le Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy
4
Chemistry Department and INSTM Research Unit, University of Salerno, Fisciano, 84084, Italy
5
Technological District on Polymeric and Composite Materials Engineering and Structures—IMAST, Piazzale E. Fermi 1, Località Granatello, 80055 Portici (Na), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 September 2009 / Revised: 12 November 2009 / Accepted: 13 November 2009 / Published: 3 December 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Sensors 2009)

Abstract

Chemical sensors are generally based on the integration of suitable sensitive layers and transducing mechanisms. Although inorganic porous materials can be effective, there is significant interest in the use of polymeric materials because of their easy fabrication process, lower costs and mechanical flexibility. However, porous polymeric absorbents are generally amorphous and hence present poor molecular selectivity and undesired changes of mechanical properties as a consequence of large analyte uptake. In this contribution the structure, properties and some possible applications of sensing polymeric films based on nanoporous crystalline phases, which exhibit all identical nanopores, will be reviewed. The main advantages of crystalline nanoporous polymeric materials with respect to their amorphous counterparts are, besides a higher selectivity, the ability to maintain their physical state as well as geometry, even after large guest uptake (up to 10–15 wt%), and the possibility to control guest diffusivity by controlling the orientation of the host polymeric crystalline phase. The final section of the review also describes the ability of suitable polymeric films to act as chirality sensors, i.e., to sense and memorize the presence of non-racemic volatile organic compounds. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymer co-crystals; nanoporous crystalline phases; syndiotactic polystyrene; sensing film rigidity; molecular sensors; chiral sensors polymer co-crystals; nanoporous crystalline phases; syndiotactic polystyrene; sensing film rigidity; molecular sensors; chiral sensors
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pilla, P.; Cusano, A.; Cutolo, A.; Giordano, M.; Mensitieri, G.; Rizzo, P.; Sanguigno, L.; Venditto, V.; Guerra, G. Molecular Sensing by Nanoporous Crystalline Polymers. Sensors 2009, 9, 9816-9857.

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