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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(3), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8030169

Strongly Iridescent Hybrid Photonic Sensors Based on Self-Assembled Nanoparticles for Hazardous Solvent Detection

Department of Engineering Science, the University of Electro-communications, 1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Chofu, Tokyo 182-8585, Japan
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Received: 15 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Development of Nanostructured Thin Films)
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Abstract

Facile detection and the identification of hazardous organic solvents are essential for ensuring global safety and avoiding harm to the environment caused by industrial wastes. Here, we present a simple method for the fabrication of silver-coated monodisperse polystyrene nanoparticle photonic structures that are embedded into a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) matrix. These hybrid materials exhibit a strong green iridescence with a reflectance peak at 550 nm that originates from the close-packed arrangement of the nanoparticles. This reflectance peak measured under Wulff-Bragg conditions displays a 20 to 50 nm red shift when the photonic sensors are exposed to five commonly employed and highly hazardous organic solvents. These red-shifts correlate well with PDMS swelling ratios using the various solvents, which suggests that the observable color variations result from an increase in the photonic crystal lattice parameter with a similar mechanism to the color modulation of the chameleon skin. Dynamic reflectance measurements enable the possibility of clearly identifying each of the tested solvents. Furthermore, as small amounts of hazardous solvents such as tetrahydrofuran can be detected even when mixed with water, the nanostructured solvent sensors we introduce here could have a major impact on global safety measures as innovative photonic technology for easily visualizing and identifying the presence of contaminants in water. View Full-Text
Keywords: hazardous organic solvents; photonic nanostructures; self-assembly; polymer nanoparticles; biomimetic solvent sensors; iridescence hazardous organic solvents; photonic nanostructures; self-assembly; polymer nanoparticles; biomimetic solvent sensors; iridescence
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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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Sato, A.; Ikeda, Y.; Yamaguchi, K.; Vohra, V. Strongly Iridescent Hybrid Photonic Sensors Based on Self-Assembled Nanoparticles for Hazardous Solvent Detection. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 169.

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