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Fluorescent chemo-sensors based on “dually smart” optical micro/nano-waveguides lithographically fabricated with AIE composite resins

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Abstract

Novel high-performance non-labeled fluoro-sensing micro/nano-optics require lithographically fabricable stimuli-fluorescence transductive materials well-tailored in molecular levels, towards superior processibility, stability, sensitivity, on-chip integration and portability, and real-time and in situ analysis. Here, aggregation-induced-emission fluorophores with oxetane groups (AIEoxes) and their covalently co-crosslinkable epoxy composites are customized for the fabrication of micro/nano-devices via single/multi-photon lithography. The oxetane modification increases the AIEoxe miscibility in the epoxy matrix (doping ratio up to 10 wt%), and consequently improves the as-formed devices’ quality, stability, and fluorescence intensity and sensitivity. The multi-color-AIEoxe polymeric micro/nano-devices allow fluorescence-resonance-energy-transfer among AIEoxes, which enables sensitive and specifically spectral detection of VOCs. With the micro/nano-waveguide configuration, solvent-responsive AIE fluorescence and evanescent-field/refractive-index sensing enhance the AIE-fluorescent detection of trace organic solvents in aqueous solutions (detection limit, ∼0.004% v/v, tetrahydrofuran/water) and their facile integration in functional micro/nano-systems like optofluidics.

Graphical abstract: Fluorescent chemo-sensors based on “dually smart” optical micro/nano-waveguides lithographically fabricated with AIE composite resins

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
13 Feb 2020
Accepted
20 Apr 2020
First published
23 Apr 2020

Mater. Horiz., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Communication

Fluorescent chemo-sensors based on “dually smart” optical micro/nano-waveguides lithographically fabricated with AIE composite resins

M. Qian, Y. Sun, Z. Hu, X. Fang, J. Zhu, X. Fan, Q. Liao, C. Wu and H. Sun, Mater. Horiz., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0MH00249F

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