A fluorescent microporous crystalline dendrimer discriminates vapour molecules
© Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Moment/Getty
A new type of chemical sensor changes colour in the presence of volatile vapours, offering a way of monitoring for contaminants and hazardous chemicals in the environment before they can cause harm.
A University of Tsukuba–led team created thin films of a porous, treelike polymer that, with its branched tendrils, absorbs and captures molecules of gaseous, evaporated solvents. Within a couple seconds of solvent exposure, the fluorescent colour and intensity of the film changes, offering a visual signal that’s easy to interpret with the naked eye.
The colour reflects the chemical polarity of the solvent, so a single film can distinguish between numerous types of hazardous agents. Plus, the film returns to its original colour after the solvent vapor is removed — which means the sensor could be reused many times for environmental monitoring.
- Chemical Communications 54, 2534–2537 (2018). doi: 10.1039/C7CC09342J
|University of Tsukuba, Japan||0.39|
|Kyoto University, Japan||0.22|
|Heidelberg University (Uni Heidelberg), Germany||0.17|
|Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), Japan||0.11|
|ERATO Yamamoto Atom Hybrid Project, Japan||0.11|
|Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Japan||0.00|