Next Article in Journal
Research on Modeling of the Agile Satellite Using a Single Gimbal Magnetically Suspended CMG and the Disturbance Feedforward Compensation for Rotors
Next Article in Special Issue
Improved Membrane-Based Sensor Network for Reliable Gas Monitoring in the Subsurface
Previous Article in Journal
Detecting Driver Drowsiness Based on Sensors: A Review
Previous Article in Special Issue
Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy for Studying Biological Samples
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sensors 2012, 12(12), 16954-16963;

Photonic Crystal Based Sensor for Organic Solvents and for Solvent-Water Mixtures

Institute of Analytical Chemistry, Chemo- and Biosensors, University of Regensburg, 93040 Regensburg, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 October 2012 / Revised: 28 November 2012 / Accepted: 5 December 2012 / Published: 12 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Germany 2012)
PDF [1548 KB, uploaded 21 June 2014]


Monodisperse polystyrene nanoparticles with a diameter of 173 nm were incorporated into a polydimethylsiloxane matrix where they display an iridescent color that can be attributed to the photonic crystal effect. The film is of violet color if placed in plain water, but turns to red in the presence of the non-polar solvent n-hexane. Several solvents were studied in some detail. We show that such films are capable of monitoring the water content of ethanol/water mixtures, where only 1% (v/v) of water leads to a shift of the peak wavelength of reflected light by 5 nm. The method also can be applied to determine, both visually and instrumentally, the fraction of methanol in ethanol/methanol mixtures. Here, a fraction of 1% of methanol (v/v) results in a wavelength shift of 2 nm. The reflected wavelength is not influenced by temperature changes nor impeded by photobleaching. The signal changes are fully reversible and response times are <1 s. View Full-Text
Keywords: photonic crystal; sensor; PDMS; solvent polarity; water sensor photonic crystal; sensor; PDMS; solvent polarity; water sensor

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Fenzl, C.; Hirsch, T.; Wolfbeis, O.S. Photonic Crystal Based Sensor for Organic Solvents and for Solvent-Water Mixtures. Sensors 2012, 12, 16954-16963.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sensors EISSN 1424-8220 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top