Sensitive Explosive Vapor Detection with Polyfluorene Lasers

Authors

  • Ying Yang,

    1. Organic Semiconductor Centre, SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy University of St Andrews North Haugh, St Andrews KY16 9SS (UK)
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  • Graham A. Turnbull,

    Corresponding author
    1. Organic Semiconductor Centre, SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy University of St Andrews North Haugh, St Andrews KY16 9SS (UK)
    • Organic Semiconductor Centre, SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy University of St Andrews North Haugh, St Andrews KY16 9SS (UK).
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  • Ifor D. W. Samuel

    Corresponding author
    1. Organic Semiconductor Centre, SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy University of St Andrews North Haugh, St Andrews KY16 9SS (UK)
    • Organic Semiconductor Centre, SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy University of St Andrews North Haugh, St Andrews KY16 9SS (UK).
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Abstract

Distributed feedback organic semiconductor lasers based on polyfluorene are shown to be suitable for use as chemical sensors for the detection of nitroaromatic-based explosive vapors. The laser threshold is increased by a factor of 1.8 and the slope efficiency is reduced by a factor of 3 after exposure to the vapor. The sensing efficiency depends strongly on the excitation energy with a maximum efficiency of 85%. The temporal dynamics of the laser response to the analyte have been investigated. The laser emission falls to 60% of its initial value in 46 s. A model is developed to offer some insight into the diffusion of the vapor molecules inside the polymer layer.

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