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Quantum Dot and Polymer Composite Cross-Reactive Array for Chemical Vapor Detection

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journal contribution
posted on 15.12.2015, 00:00 by Collin J. Bright, Eric C. Nallon, Michael P. Polcha, Vincent P. Schnee
A cross-reactive chemical sensing array was made from CdSe Quantum Dots (QDs) and five different organic polymers by inkjet printing to create segmented fluorescent composite regions on quartz substrates. The sensor array was challenged with exposures from two sets of analytes, including one set of 14 different functionalized benzenes and one set of 14 compounds related to security concerns, including the explosives trinitrotoluene (TNT) and ammonium nitrate. The array was broadly responsive to analytes with different chemical functionalities due to the multiple sensing mechanisms that altered the QDs’ fluorescence. The sensor array displayed excellent discrimination between members within both sets. Classification accuracy of more than 93% was achieved, including the complete discrimination of very similar dinitrobenzene isomers and three halogenated, substituted benzene compounds. The simple fabrication, broad responsivity, and high discrimination capacity of this type of cross-reactive array are ideal qualities for the development of sensors with excellent sensitivity to chemical and explosive threats while maintaining low false alarm rates.