A fluorescent microporous crystalline dendrimer discriminates vapour molecules

Journal: Chemical Communications

Published: 2018-03-06

DOI: 10.1039/c7cc09342j

Affiliations: 8

Authors: 9

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Research Highlight

Spotting hazardous vapours in the air

© Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Moment/Getty

© 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.

Supported content

  1. Chemical Communications 54, 2534–2537 (2018). doi: 10.1039/C7CC09342J
Institutions Share
University of Tsukuba, Japan 0.39
Kyoto University, Japan 0.22
Heidelberg University (Uni Heidelberg), Germany 0.17
Laboratory for Chemistry and Life Science, Tokyo Tech, Japan 0.11
ERATO Yamamoto Atom Hybrid Project, Japan 0.11
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Japan 0