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Integrated 3D Hydrogel Waveguide Out-Coupler by Step-and-Repeat Thermal Nanoimprint Lithography: A Promising Sensor Device for Water and pH

1
Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC and BIST, Campus UAB, Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
2
Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Mikeletegi 2, E-20009 San Sebastián, Spain
3
Division of Biomedical Engineering, University Glasgow, Rankine Building, Glasgow G12 8LT, UK
4
Institucio Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), 08010 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Visum Ltd., NexusUCD, Belfied Office Park, Dublin 4, Ireland.
Current address: I + Med S.Coop., Technological Park of Alava, Albert Einstein St. 15, 01510 Miñano, Alava, Spain.
§
Current address: Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK.
Current address: Eurecat, Centre Tecnològic de Catalunya, Functional Printing & Embedded Systems Unit, Avinguda Ernest Lluch 36, 08302 Mataró, Spain.
Sensors 2018, 18(10), 3240; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18103240
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 20 September 2018 / Published: 26 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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PDF [3715 KB, uploaded 26 September 2018]
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Abstract

Hydrogel materials offer many advantages for chemical and biological sensoring due to their response to a small change in their environment with a related change in volume. Several designs have been outlined in the literature in the specific field of hydrogel-based optical sensors, reporting a large number of steps for their fabrication. In this work we present a three-dimensional, hydrogel-based sensor the structure of which is fabricated in a single step using thermal nanoimprint lithography. The sensor is based on a waveguide with a grating readout section. A specific hydrogel formulation, based on a combination of PEGDMA (Poly(Ethylene Glycol DiMethAcrylate)), NIPAAm (N-IsoPropylAcrylAmide), and AA (Acrylic Acid), was developed. This stimulus-responsive hydrogel is sensitive to pH and to water. Moreover, the hydrogel has been modified to be suitable for fabrication by thermal nanoimprint lithography. Once stimulated, the hydrogel-based sensor changes its topography, which is characterised physically by AFM and SEM, and optically using a specific optical set-up. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogel; waveguide; thermal nanoimprint lithography; water sensor; pH sensor hydrogel; waveguide; thermal nanoimprint lithography; water sensor; pH sensor
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Francone, A.; Kehoe, T.; Obieta, I.; Saez-Martinez, V.; Bilbao, L.; Khokhar, A.Z.; Gadegaard, N.; Simao, C.D.; Kehagias, N.; Sotomayor Torres, C.M. Integrated 3D Hydrogel Waveguide Out-Coupler by Step-and-Repeat Thermal Nanoimprint Lithography: A Promising Sensor Device for Water and pH. Sensors 2018, 18, 3240.

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