Temperature is a key parameter in many fields and luminescence-based temperature sensing is a solution for those applications in which traditional (mechanical, electrical, or IR-based) thermometers struggle. Amongst the indicator dyes for luminescence thermometry, Ru(II) polyazaheteroaromatic complexes are an appealing option to profit from the widespread commercial technologies for oxygen optosensing based on them. Six ruthenium dyes have been studied, engineering their structure for both photostability and highest temperature sensitivity of their luminescence. The most apt Ru(II) complex turned out to be bis(1,10-phenanthroline)(4-chloro-1,10-phenanthroline)ruthenium(II), due to the combination of two strong-field chelating ligands (phen) and a substituent with electron withdrawing effect on a conjugated position of the third ligand (4-Clphen). In order to produce functional sensors, the dye has been best embedded into poly(ethyl cyanoacrylate), due to its low permeability to O2
, high temperature sensitivity of the indicator dye incorporated into this polymer, ease of fabrication, and excellent optical quality. Thermosensitive elements have been fabricated thereof as optical fiber tips for macroscopic applications (water courses monitoring) and thin spots for microscopic uses (temperature measurements in cell culture-on-a-chip). With such dye/polymer combination, temperature sensing based on luminescence lifetime measurements allows 0.05 °C resolution with linear response in the range of interest (0–40 °C).
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