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Open AccessArticle

Portable Instrument for Monitoring Environmental Toxins Using Immobilized Quantum Dots as the Sensing Material

1
Department of Electrical, Electronic, Computers and Systems Engineering, University of Oviedo, 33204 Gijon, Spain
2
Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry, University of Oviedo, 33006 Oviedo, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3246; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093246
Received: 8 April 2020 / Revised: 29 April 2020 / Accepted: 2 May 2020 / Published: 7 May 2020
A portable instrumental system was designed for the routine environmental monitoring of toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in atmospheric conditions based on changes in the photoluminescence emission of semiconductor nanoparticles (quantum dots) entrapped in a sol-gel matrix as the solid sensing material. The sol-gel sensing material displayed a long-lived phosphorescent emission, which is quenched in the presence of trace levels of a volatile organic compound (acetone) in gaseous atmospheres. The developed instrument could measure and process the changes in the photoluminescence of the sensing material after exposure to gaseous acetone. The developed prototype device consists of a deep-ultraviolet ligtht-emitting diode (UV LED), which excites the chemical sensing material; an optical filter to remove scattered light and other non-desirable wavelengths; a photomultiplier tube (PMT) to convert the phosphorescence emission of the sensor phase to an electrical signal; and a microcontroller to correlate the signal with the analyte concentration. The developed prototype was evaluated for its ability to measure low levels of gaseous acetone in contaminated atmospheres with high sensitivity (detection limit: 9 ppm). The obtained results show the feasibility of this type of instrument for environmental analytical control purposes. View Full-Text
Keywords: instrumentation; nanoparticles; photomultiplier; quantum dots (QDs); room temperature phosphorescence (RTP); UV LED instrumentation; nanoparticles; photomultiplier; quantum dots (QDs); room temperature phosphorescence (RTP); UV LED
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ferrero, F.J.; Valledor, M.; Campo, J.C.; López, A.; Llano-Suárez, P.; Fernández-Arguelles, M.T.; Costa-Fernández, J.M.; Soldado, A. Portable Instrument for Monitoring Environmental Toxins Using Immobilized Quantum Dots as the Sensing Material. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 3246. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093246

AMA Style

Ferrero FJ, Valledor M, Campo JC, López A, Llano-Suárez P, Fernández-Arguelles MT, Costa-Fernández JM, Soldado A. Portable Instrument for Monitoring Environmental Toxins Using Immobilized Quantum Dots as the Sensing Material. Applied Sciences. 2020; 10(9):3246. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093246

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ferrero, Francisco J.; Valledor, Marta; Campo, Juan C.; López, Alberto; Llano-Suárez, Pablo; Fernández-Arguelles, María T.; Costa-Fernández, José M.; Soldado, Ana. 2020. "Portable Instrument for Monitoring Environmental Toxins Using Immobilized Quantum Dots as the Sensing Material" Appl. Sci. 10, no. 9: 3246. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093246

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