Detection of high-energy compounds using photoluminescent silicon nanocrystal paper based sensors†
Luminescent silicon nanocrystals (Si-NCs) surface functionalized with dodecyl groups were exposed to solutions of nitroaromatic compounds including nitrobenzene, nitrotoluene, and dinitrotoluene. It was found that Si-NC luminescence was quenched upon exposure to nitroaromatics via an electron transfer mechanism as indicated by Stern–Volmer analysis. This quenching was exploited and a straightforward paper-based Si-NC sensor was developed. This paper motif was found to be sensitive to solution, vapor, and solid phase nitroaromatics, as well as solution borne RDX and PETN.