Vapor phase solvatochromic responses of polydiacetylene embedded matrix polymers†
The solvatochromic response of polydiacetylene (PDA) in the vapor phase is enabled upon incorporation with matrix polymers such as polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), polyethylene glycol (PEG), polyacrylic acid (PAA), and poly-4-vinylpyridine (P4VP). The matrix polymers provide a soft/gel-like framework for accommodating photopolymerized PDA, while facilitating its conformational alternations upon interaction with preconcentrated volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The matrix polymers enabled the differentiation of VOCs owing to their varying morphology, chemical affinity and solubility in VOCs. The ratios between PDA and the matrix polymers are optimized according to the obtained solvatochromic responses evaluated in varying temperature, humidity and storage conditions. As a proof of concept, a finger-print array for differentiation of 7 VOCs is demonstrated using matrix polymer-embedded PDA. The obtained results indicate that the response time and sensitivity of the proposed methodology supersedes previous reports on solvatochromic VOC assays. Furthermore, the proposed methodology would enable differentiation of a wide range of VOCs upon incorporation of additional matrix polymers with varying sorption properties.