6 March 2013 Organic polymer-metal nano-composites for opto-electronic sensing of chemicals in agriculture
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Recent research findings led the team to conclude that a long lasting and inexpensive colorimetric sensor for monitoring ammonia emission from manure in confined animal feeding operations could eventually become feasible. The sensor uses robust method of opto-electronic spectroscopic measurement of the reversible change of the color of a sensitive nano-composite reagent film in response to ammonia. The film is made of a metal (gold, platinum, or palladium) nano-colloid in a polymer matrix with an ammonia-sensitive indicator dye additive. The response of the indicator dye (increase of the optical absorption in the region 550 to 650 nm) is enhanced by the nano-particles (~10 nm in size) in two ways: (a) concentration of the optical field near the nano-particle due to the plasmon resonance; and (b) catalytic acceleration of the chemical reaction of deprotonization of the indicator dye in the presence of ammonia and water vapor. This enhancement helps to make a miniature and rugged sensing element without compromising its sensitivity of less than 1 ppm for the range 0 to 100 ppm. The sensor underwent field tests in commercial broiler farms in Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas and was compared against a commercial photoacoustic gas analyzer. The sensor output correlated well with the data from the photoacoustic analyzer (correlation coefficient not less than 0.9 and the linear regression slope after calibration close to 1.0) for several weeks of continuous operation. The sources of errors were analyzed and the conclusions on the necessary improvements and the potential use of the proposed device were made.
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Sergey S. Sarkisov, Sergey S. Sarkisov, Michael Czarick, Michael Czarick, Brian D. Fairchild, Brian D. Fairchild, Yi Liang, Yi Liang, Tatiana Kukhtareva, Tatiana Kukhtareva, Michael J. Curley, Michael J. Curley, } "Organic polymer-metal nano-composites for opto-electronic sensing of chemicals in agriculture", Proc. SPIE 8622, Organic Photonic Materials and Devices XV, 86221C (6 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.999314; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.999314

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