Special Issue "Thin Film Based Sensors"

A special issue of Chemosensors (ISSN 2227-9040).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Maria Raposo

Departamento de Física, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Caparica, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: physico-chemical interfacial phenomena at the solid-liquid interface; physics and chemistry of macromolecules surfaces and interfaces; featured of surfaces and interfaces; dedicated assemblies for in-situ monitoring, dynamics at surfaces and interfaces, adsorption and desorption processes; artificial membrane development and characterization; thin film devices; characterization of molecular devices; optical properties of materials
Guest Editor
Dr. Paulo António Ribeiro

FCT Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Almada, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +351 212948576
Fax: +351 212948549
Interests: functional molecular films of organic molecules for applications in optics, photonics, and sensor devices

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

An increasing number of fields in everyday life require development and application of ever more modern and efficient chemical sensors and biosensors, from drug detection to clinical diagnosis, from control of industrial quality and safety and combating bioterrorism to health and environmental monitoring. However, the general way to develop these sensors is by using hierarchical assembly of nanoscale building blocks as thin films sensing structures to adsorb each of the molecules to be detected typically by different methods as potentiometry, amperometry, cyclic voltammetry, impedance spectroscopy, and also by other methods as for example microcantilevers, surface acoustic waves among others, and fiber optic-based sensor devices. The goal of this Special Issue on Thin Film Based Sensor Devices is to give a survey about the state-of-the-art on organic and inorganic thin films sensor based devices, which allow the detection of a determined molecular specie or set of molecules on a complex media, in order to compile, criticize and systematize the achieved knowledge and to provide guidelines for a next generation of quantifying and selective sensor devices. Under this compliance we are lauching the challenge for the submition of review like contributions covering both theoretical and practical aspects in the field of thin films sensor devices made of functional molecular layers, capable of detection and quantification particularly in complex media. A wide range of experimental techniques for the obtention of molecular layers can be envisaged herein as for example Langmuir-Blodgett, self-assembly, layer-by-layer, molecularly imprinted polymers, sol-gel, casting, spin-coating, vaccuum evaporating, plasma assisted deposition, electron beam deposition, chemical vapour deposition or molecular beam epiatxy.

Dr. Maria Raposo
Dr. Paulo A. Ribeiro
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Chemosensors is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Thin film sensor devices
  • Chemistry and Physics of thin film deposition
  • Chemistry and physics detection mechanisms
  • Selective thin film sensors
  • Quantifying thin film sensors
  • Thin film sensor arrays
  • Multicomponent detection thin film sensors
  • Thin films for detection in complex systems
  • Thin film based electronic tongue & nose
  • Lab-on-a-chip thin film sensor devices

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Inkjet Printed Interdigitated Biosensor for Easy and Rapid Detection of Bacteriophage Contamination: A Preliminary Study for Milk Processing Control Applications
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
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Abstract
Bacteriophages are responsible for significant material and time losses in the dairy industry. This because these viruses infect the selected lactic starter cultures used for milk fermentation, i.e., the first stage toward cheese production. Standard detection techniques are time- and labor-consuming, causing huge [...] Read more.
Bacteriophages are responsible for significant material and time losses in the dairy industry. This because these viruses infect the selected lactic starter cultures used for milk fermentation, i.e., the first stage toward cheese production. Standard detection techniques are time- and labor-consuming, causing huge costs related to production plant sanitation and product wasting. A new type of biosensor for early detection of bacteriophage contamination is highly demanded by the milk processing market, and inkjet-printed electrochemical sensors could be the answer. Inkjet printing is a well-known technology that has been revisited in recent years, using silver nanoparticle (AgNP) based inks for low-cost and easy fabrication of sensing and biosensing systems on flexible and eco-compatible substrates. In this research, we studied inkjet printing for the manufacturing of both interdigitated electrodes arrays (IDEAs), and a versatile system to monitor bacterial cultures by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). In particular, we studied this biosensing system for the detection of bacteriophages by comparing its performance with standard microbiological methods. We performed electrical and morphological characterizations of the devices produced with a consumer-use inkjet printer with commercial AgNPs ink on flexible substrates, such as office paper, polyethylene (PET), and photo paper. We used light microscopy optical analysis, profilometry, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging to define the objects resolution, their real dimensions, and thickness. We also investigated the devices’ conductivity and layout, by EIS measurements with a standard buffer solution, i.e., phosphate buffered saline (PBS). Finally, we tested our system by monitoring Lactococcus lactis cultures and bacteriophage infection. We compared the results to those obtained by two standard microbiological methods in terms of response time, proving that our technique requires less than half the time of other methods and no specialized personnel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Based Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle Resistive Low-Temperature Sensor Based on the SiO2ZrO2 Film for Detection of High Concentrations of NO2 Gas
Chemosensors 2018, 6(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemosensors6040067
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 7 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
The SiO2ZrO2 composite films were prepared by means of sol-gel technology and characterized by scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis, and X-ray diffraction. The presence of the stable monoclinic ZrO2 with an impurity of tetragonal phases is [...] Read more.
The SiO2ZrO2 composite films were prepared by means of sol-gel technology and characterized by scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis, and X-ray diffraction. The presence of the stable monoclinic ZrO2 with an impurity of tetragonal phases is shown. The film surface is characterized by the presence of ZrOCl2·6H2O or ZrCl(OH)/ZrCl(OH)2 grains. The crystallite size negligibly depends on the annealing temperature of the film and amount to 10–12 nm and 9–12 nm for the films thermally treated at 200 °C and 500 °C, respectively. The film’s resistance is rather sensitive to the presence of NO2 impurities in the air at a low operating temperature (25 °C). Accelerated stability tests of the initial resistance showed high stability and reproducibility of the sensor based on the SiO2ZrO2 film thermally treated at 500 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Based Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle Fluorinated Chromium Phthalocyanine Thin Films: Characterization and Ammonia Vapor Detection
Chemosensors 2018, 6(4), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemosensors6040063
Received: 12 November 2018 / Revised: 28 November 2018 / Accepted: 3 December 2018 / Published: 6 December 2018
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Abstract
Thin films of fluorinated chromium phthalocyanine were prepared using spin coating techniques and annealed at 100, 200, 300, and 400 °C. The prepared films were investigated using UV-Visible absorption spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. The band gap characteristics were evaluated to [...] Read more.
Thin films of fluorinated chromium phthalocyanine were prepared using spin coating techniques and annealed at 100, 200, 300, and 400 °C. The prepared films were investigated using UV-Visible absorption spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. The band gap characteristics were evaluated to study the difference electronic transitions between the prepared thin films under different annealing temperatures. Films were exposed to ammonia vapor in a concentration range of 40–100 ppm to demonstrate the gas sensing activity of prepared devices. Resistance versus voltage behavior was investigated upon the exposure of ammonia gas and the samples show an increase in the resistance towards the existence of ammonia molecules. The dependency of the sensors on time was studied to evaluate the response and recovery time, which were found to be 10 and 13 s respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Based Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle Broad-Range Hydrogel-Based pH Sensor with Capacitive Readout Manufactured on a Flexible Substrate
Chemosensors 2018, 6(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemosensors6030030
Received: 17 June 2018 / Revised: 17 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 25 July 2018
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Abstract
Environmental monitoring of land, water and air, is an area receiving greater attention because of human health and safety concerns. Monitoring the type of pollution and concentration levels is vital, so that appropriate contingency plans can be determined. To effectively monitor the environment, [...] Read more.
Environmental monitoring of land, water and air, is an area receiving greater attention because of human health and safety concerns. Monitoring the type of pollution and concentration levels is vital, so that appropriate contingency plans can be determined. To effectively monitor the environment, there is a need for new sensors and sensor systems that suits these type of measurements. However, the diversity of sensors suitable for low, battery powered- and large area sensor systems are limited. We have manufactured and characterized a flexible pH sensor using laser processing and blade coating techniques that is able to measure pH between 2.94 and 11.80. The sensor consists of an interdigital capacitance with a pH sensitive hydrogel coating. Thin sensors can reach 95% of their final value value within 3 min, and are stable after 4 min. Good repeatability was achieved in regard to cycling of the sensor with different pH and multiple measurements from dry state. We have also studied the relation between an interdigital capacitance penetration depth and hydrogels expansion. We believe that our passive sensor is suitable to be used in low power and large area sensor networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Based Sensors)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Synthesis, Curing Behavior and Swell Tests of pH-Responsive Coatings from Acryl-Terminated Oligo(β-Amino Esters)
Chemosensors 2018, 6(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemosensors6010010
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
The ability of acryl-terminated oligo(β-amino esters) (AOBAE) to be coated on fibers and printed electronics without solvents and to be cross-linked to a pH-responsive coatings, makes AOBAE-based coatings a potential type of pH-sensor coating. However, there are currently no reports of [...] Read more.
The ability of acryl-terminated oligo( β -amino esters) (AOBAE) to be coated on fibers and printed electronics without solvents and to be cross-linked to a pH-responsive coatings, makes AOBAE-based coatings a potential type of pH-sensor coating. However, there are currently no reports of AOBAEs used as a pH-responsive coating material in sensor applications. Here we present an investigation of the synthesis, curing behavior and swell tests of AOBAEs. AOBAEs were synthesized from reacting an excess of asymmetric diacrylates with piperazine without the use of any solvents. They were then cross-linked to an insoluble network by UV-curing. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy were used to characterize the AOBAEs. NMR was used to clarify the irregular structure of the AOBAE. FTIR was used to monitor the effects of UV-curing dose and air exposure on monomer conversion during curing. An interferometric technique was used to monitor the swelling behavior of the coating in response to pH variations. Swell experiments showed that the AOBAE also responded to pH variations after polymerization. Therefore, AOBAE is an interesting class of material with potential use as a pH responsive coating in optical-and printed electronics pH-sensors applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Based Sensors)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Thin Films Sensor Devices for Mycotoxins Detection in Foods: Applications and Challenges
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 20 December 2018 / Published: 4 January 2019
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Abstract
Mycotoxins are a group of secondary metabolites produced by different species of filamentous fungi and pose serious threats to food safety due to their serious human and animal health impacts such as carcinogenic, teratogenic and hepatotoxic effects. Conventional methods for the detection of [...] Read more.
Mycotoxins are a group of secondary metabolites produced by different species of filamentous fungi and pose serious threats to food safety due to their serious human and animal health impacts such as carcinogenic, teratogenic and hepatotoxic effects. Conventional methods for the detection of mycotoxins include gas chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry or other detectors (fluorescence or UV detection), thin layer chromatography and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. These techniques are generally straightforward and yield reliable results; however, they are time-consuming, require extensive preparation steps, use large-scale instruments, and consume large amounts of hazardous chemical reagents. Rapid detection of mycotoxins is becoming an increasingly important challenge for the food industry in order to effectively enforce regulations and ensure the safety of food and feed. In this sense, several studies have been done with the aim of developing strategies to detect mycotoxins using sensing devices that have high sensitivity and specificity, fast analysis, low cost and portability. The latter include the use of microarray chips, multiplex lateral flow, Surface Plasmon Resonance, Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering and biosensors using nanoparticles. In this perspective, thin film sensors have recently emerged as a good candidate technique to meet such requirements. This review summarizes the application and challenges of thin film sensor devices for detection of mycotoxins in food matrices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Based Sensors)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Inkjet Printed Interdigitated Biosensor for Easy and Rapid Detection of Bacteriophage Viruses Infections A preliminary Study for Milk and Wine Processing Control Applications.

Abstract: Bacteriophage viruses attack the bacterial cultures added to raw milk and due to obtain their fermentation, causing materials losses in the wine and milk processing sectors. The consequent demand for innovative biosensors for early bacteriophage contamination detection could be fulfilled by inkjet-printed electrochemical sensors.

Inkjet printing technology has been revisited in recent years using silver nanoparticles-based inks for low-cost and easy fabrication of biosensing systems on flexible and eco-compatible substrates.

In this work, we studied inkjet printing for the manufacturing of interdigitated electrodes arrays as versatile system to monitor bacterial cultures by Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. We used this system to detect bacteriophage contaminations, comparing its performance with standard microbiological methods.

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