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15 December 1999 Organic vapor detection with fiber optic bead arrays
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The need for small, fast responding detection systems is growing and fiber-optic bead arrays offer a different approach to small sensor design. Sensor arrays are fabricated by inserting self-encoded microspheres into microwells etched into the distal face of an imaging fiber. Each imaging fiber is 0.5 - 1 mm in outer diameter and consists of 5,000 - 10,000 individually clad, 3 - 4 micrometers diameter optical fibers bundled together. The bundles are coherent, allowing each microsphere in a well to be addressed as an individual sensor. Microsphere sensors are silica or polymer beads (approximately 3 micrometers in diameter) impregnated with solvatochromic dyes. These dyes alter their fluorescence emission spectra in response to changes in vapor polarity, allowing analytes to be discriminated based on their signature fluorescence response over time. A computational network is trained to recognize these response patterns for each sensor type, allowing for identification of specific organic vapors. Each sensor type is cross- reactive, and has unique fluorescence response patterns to different analytes. The sensor types can be identified based on their unique responses, allowing their position to be registered by observing the identity of the response pattern toward a known standard. Such encoding enables array fabrication to be simplified since sensors can be randomly dispersed throughout the array, instead of specifically patterned within the array. Possible applications for bead array detectors include environmental and industrial monitoring, land mine detection, and medical diagnostics.
© (1999) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Shannon E. Stitzel, Keith J. Albert, and David R. Walt "Organic vapor detection with fiber optic bead arrays", Proc. SPIE 3858, Advanced Materials and Optical Systems for Chemical and Biological Detection, (15 December 1999);

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