K. Gatsoulia, A. Meristoudia, A. Tsigaraa, G. Manasisa, N. Vainosa,b, S.Pispasa, *
aNational Hellenic Research Foundation, Theoretical and Physical Chemistry Institute, 48 Vass. Constantinou Ave., Athens 116 35, Greece (firstname.lastname@example.org)
bDepartment of Materials Science, University of Patras, Patras 26504 Greece
Polymer based nanocomposite materials with sensing function have become a very promising area in the field of optical physicho-chemical sensing. A variety of organic-inorganic hybrid materials based on polymers are prepared and evaluated as potential sensing elements for physichochemical monitoring applications. High purity laboratory synthesized homopolymers and block copolymers are used as matrices. The hybrid systems are consisting mainly of polymers doped with inorganic salt nanocrystals or metal nanoparticles. Composite thin films, and in selected cases grating structures, were fabricated using these materials.
Materials response is based on changes of their optical properties (e.g. scattering effects and refractive index changes) upon modification of the ambient physichochemical parameters (e.g. concentration of gas or volatile analytes). The optical properties and response of the materials together with structural, surface and morphological analysis is attempted.
The sensors are evaluated accordingly for their temporal response, reversible behaviour and long term stability together with a good sensitivity and a relatively large dynamic range. Functional characteristics and, in particular, the operational range may be tuned by sensor structure composition.