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Self-Assembled Curved Macroporous Photonic Crystal-Based Surfactant Detectors

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journal contribution
posted on 19.07.2017, 00:00 by Chien-Fu Chiu, Hui-Ping Tsai, Ying-Chu Chen, Yi-Xuan He, Kun-Yi Andrew Lin, Hongta Yang
Surfactants are extensively used as detergents, dispersants, and emulsifiers. Thus, wastewater containing high-concentration surfactants discharged to the environment pose a serious threat to the ecosystem. Unfortunately, conventional detection methods for surfactants suffer from the use of sophisticated instruments and cannot perform detections for various surfactants by a single analysis. The article reports the development of simple and sensitive surfactant detection using doctor-blade-coated three-dimensional curved macroporous photonic crystals on a cylindrical rod. The photonic crystals exhibit different hydrophobicities at various angular positions after surface modification. The penetration of aqueous surfactant solutions in the interconnected macropores causes red-shift as well as reduction in amplitude in the optical stop bands, resulting in surfactant detection with visible readout. The correlation between the surface tension, as well as the solution-infiltrated angular position, and the concentration of aqueous surfactant solutions has also been investigated in this study.