Development of microfabricated optical chemical sensor platforms using polymer processing technology
Burke, Conor Stephen (2004) Development of microfabricated optical chemical sensor platforms using polymer processing technology. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
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This work describes the design and fabrication of enhanced polymer waveguide platforms for absorption-based optical chemical sensors and the use of soft lithographic techniques for the fabrication of optical sensor chips. The design of the enhanced polymer waveguide platforms was based on a previously reported theoretical model that was verified experimentally in this work. The platforms were fabricated by micro-injection moulding and subsequently coated with sol-gelderived sensing layers doped with a colorimetric indicator compound. The sensor response to both gaseous ammonia and solution pH was examined using a LEDbased prototype sensor head. Soft lithographic patterning techniques, based on the use of a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) patterning element, were employed to produce a variety of sol-gel-based structures with applications in optical sensing. These included discrete sensor spots, surface corrugation grating couplers and ridge waveguides. As a proof of principle, these techniques were applied to the development of an integrated optical oxygen sensor based on the quenching of fluorescence from a sol-gel-encapsulated ruthenium complex that was deposited as a sensor spot onto a ridge waveguide. This work highlights the feasibility of using rapid prototyping technology to fabricate sensitive, mass-producible sensor platforms that employ generic configurations, thereby facilitating their use in a broad range of applications.
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