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Open AccessArticle

Toward the Required Detection Limits for Volatile Organic Constituents in Marine Environments with Infrared Evanescent Field Chemical Sensors

1
Institute of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Ulm University, 89081 Ulm, Germany
2
Department of Physics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Ariel University, Ariel 44837, Israel
3
School of Physics and Astronomy, Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
4
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg 2001, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(17), 3644; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19173644
Received: 10 July 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 20 August 2019 / Published: 21 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waveguide-Based Sensors)
A portable sensor system for the simultaneous detection of multiple environmentally relevant volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in real seawater based on Fourier transform infrared fiber-optic evanescent wave spectroscopy (FT-IR-FEWS) was developed. A cylindrical silver halide (AgX) fiber with an ethylene/propylene copolymer (E/P-co) coated flattened segment was used as an active optical transducer. The polymer membrane enriches the hydrophobic analytes, while water is effectively excluded from the penetration depth of the evanescent field. Determination of multicomponent mixtures (i.e., 10 VOCs in real-world seawater samples) collected in Arcachon Bay, France revealed a high accuracy and reproducibility with detection limits down to 560 ppb. The measurement showed no significant influence from changing water conditions (e.g., salinity, turbidity, and temperature or other interfering substances). The time constants for 90% saturation of the polymer ranged from 20 to 60 min. The sensor system is capable of being transported for on-site monitoring of environmental pollutants in aqueous matrices with efficient long-term stability, thus showing great potential to be utilized as an early warning system. View Full-Text
Keywords: mid-infrared; fiber-optic evanescent field sensor; optical chemical sensor; chemosensor; IR sensor; Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy; silver halide fiber; polymer coating; enrichment; environmental monitoring; volatile organic compound; VOC mid-infrared; fiber-optic evanescent field sensor; optical chemical sensor; chemosensor; IR sensor; Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy; silver halide fiber; polymer coating; enrichment; environmental monitoring; volatile organic compound; VOC
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Dettenrieder, C.; Raichlin, Y.; Katzir, A.; Mizaikoff, B. Toward the Required Detection Limits for Volatile Organic Constituents in Marine Environments with Infrared Evanescent Field Chemical Sensors. Sensors 2019, 19, 3644.

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