Switchable materials - the route to next generation multifunctional analytical platforms
Diamond, Dermot (2009) Switchable materials - the route to next generation multifunctional analytical platforms. In: IICS 2009 - 21st International Ion Chromatography Symposium, 21-24 September 2009, Malahide, Ireland.
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Switchable materials offer exciting new possibilities for analytical platforms based on flow systems. In particular, microfluidic manifolds with capabilities that far surpass the current state of the art could be realised in terms of reliability, flexibility, compactness, ease of use, and low cost, without compromising analytical performance.
In this lecture, I will examine several aspects of switchable materials to illustrate how this will happen, in particular focusing on;
• Biomimetic pumping and valving structures based on electrochemical and photochemical polymer actuators that can be fully integrated into fluidic manifolds
• Controlling liquid flow rate using light
• Controlling binding processes at surfaces using light (photoswitchable uptake and release of molecular guests)
Furthermore, using inherently self-indicating materials like polymers functionalised with spiropyrans, it is possible to achieve flexible control of guest uptake and release and polymer actuation, while simultaneously reporting on the material’s status entirely using low-power LEDs.
These concepts will be illustrated using recent results, and future possibilities discussed.
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