From Event: SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics, 2017
We report on a fluorescent optoelectronic nose for the trace detection of nitroaromatic explosive vapors. The sensor arrays, fabricated by aerosol-jet printing, consist of six different polymers as transducers. We demonstrate the nose’s ability to discriminate between several nitroaromatics including nitrobenzene, 1,3-dinitrobenzene and 2,4-dinitrotoluene at three different concentrations using linear discriminant analysis (LDA). We assess the within-batch reproducibility of the printing process and we report that the sensor polymers show efficient fluorescence quenching capabilities with detection limits of a few parts-per-billion in air.
Our approach enables the realization of highly integrated optical sensor arrays in optoelectronic noses for the sensitive and selective detection of nitroaromatic explosive trace vapors using a potentially low-cost digital printing technique suitable for high-volume fabrication. An important challenge is temperature-dependence which is often neglected even though organic emitters are strongly affected by temperature. For some materials, even small changes of a few Kelvin can lead to large changes in the emission intensity making a temperature-control for sensing applications inevitable. Therefore, the temperature-dependence of these sensors is investigated via a heated transparent thin film on the back of such sensors allowing the active layer to be temperature controlled. All of these led to the development of a portable system.
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