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Open AccessArticle

Stabilization of Polymeric Nanofibers Layers for Use as Real-Time and In-Flow Photonic Sensors

1
Nanophotonics Technology Center (NTC), Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
2
TECNALIA Research & Innovation, Mikeletegi Pasealekua, 2, 20009 Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(18), 3847; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19183847
Received: 31 July 2019 / Revised: 29 August 2019 / Accepted: 3 September 2019 / Published: 6 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Photonic Biosensors)
In order to increase the sensitivity of a sensor, the relationship between its volume and the surface available to be functionalized is of great importance. Accordingly, porous materials are becoming very relevant, because they have a notable surface-to-volume ratio. Moreover, they offer the possibility to infiltrate the target substances on them. Among other porous structures, polymeric nanofibers (NFs) layers fabricated by electrospinning have emerged as a very promising alternative to low-cost and easy-to-produce high-performance photonic sensors. However, experimental results show a spectrum drift when performing sensing measurements in real-time. That drift is responsible for a significant error when trying to determine the refractive index variation for a target solution, and, because of that, for the detection of the presence of certain analytes. In order to avoid that problem, different chemical and thermal treatments were studied. The best results were obtained for thermal steps at 190 °C during times between 3 and 5 h. As a result, spectrum drifts lower than 5 pm/min and sensitivities of 518 nm/refractive index unit (RIU) in the visible range of the spectrum were achieved in different electrospun NFs sensors. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanofibers layers; polymers; optical sensor; thermal treatment; refractive index nanofibers layers; polymers; optical sensor; thermal treatment; refractive index
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Ponce-Alcántara, S.; Martínez-Pérez, P.; Pérez-Márquez, A.; Maudes, J.; Murillo, N.; García-Rupérez, J. Stabilization of Polymeric Nanofibers Layers for Use as Real-Time and In-Flow Photonic Sensors. Sensors 2019, 19, 3847.

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