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Fibers 2018, 6(4), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6040072

A Time-Efficient Dip Coating Technique for the Deposition of Microgels onto the Optical Fiber Tip

1
Optoelectronics Group, Department of Engineering, University of Sannio, 82100 Benevento, Italy
2
ENEA, Portici Research Center, P.le E. Fermi 1, 80055 Napoli, Italy
3
Institute of Biostructure and Bioimaging, National Research Council, 80143 Napoli, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 23 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Coatings on Fibers and Textiles)
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Abstract

The combination of responsive microgels and Lab-on-Fiber devices represents a valuable technological tool for developing advanced optrodes, especially useful for biomedical applications. Recently, we have reported on a fabrication method, based on the dip coating technique, for creating a microgels monolayer in a controlled fashion onto the fiber tip. In the wake of these results, with a view towards industrial applications, here we carefully analyze, by means of both morphological and optical characterizations, the effect of each fabrication step (fiber dipping, rinsing, and drying) on the microgels film properties. Interestingly, we demonstrate that it is possible to significantly reduce the duration (from 960 min to 31 min) and the complexity of the fabrication procedure, without compromising the quality of the microgels film at all. Repeatability studies are carried out to confirm the validity of the optimized deposition procedure. Moreover, the new procedure is successfully applied to different kinds of substrates (patterned gold and bare optical fiber glass), demonstrating the generality of our findings. Overall, the results presented in this work offer the possibility to improve of a factor ~30 the fabrication throughput of microgels-assisted optical fiber probes, thus enabling their possible exploitation in industrial applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: optical fiber sensors; lab-on-fiber technology; microgel; dip coating technique optical fiber sensors; lab-on-fiber technology; microgel; dip coating technique
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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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Scherino, L.; Giaquinto, M.; Micco, A.; Aliberti, A.; Bobeico, E.; La Ferrara, V.; Ruvo, M.; Ricciardi, A.; Cusano, A. A Time-Efficient Dip Coating Technique for the Deposition of Microgels onto the Optical Fiber Tip. Fibers 2018, 6, 72.

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