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Molecules with multiple personalities: how switchable materials could revolutionise chemical sensing

Benito-Lopez, Fernando and Byrne, Robert and Wu, Yanzhe and Nolan, Lorraine and Kim, Jung Ho and Lau, King-Tong and Wallace, Gordon and Diamond, Dermot (2009) Molecules with multiple personalities: how switchable materials could revolutionise chemical sensing. Electrochemical Society Transactions, 19 (6). ISSN 1938-6737

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Worldwide, the demand for sensing devices that can conform with the requirements of large-scale wireless sensor network (WSN) deployments is rising exponentially. Typically, sensors should be very low cost, low power (essentially self-sustaining), yet very rugged and reliable. At present, functioning WSN deployments involve physical transducers only, such as thermistors, accelerometers, photodetectors, or flow meters, to monitor quantities like temperature, movement, light level and liquid level/flow. Remote, widely distributed monitoring of molecular targets remains relatively unexplored, except in the case of targets that can be detected directly using ‘non-contact’ techniques like spectroscopy. This paper will address the issues inhibiting the close integration of chemical sensing with WSNs and suggest strategies based on fundamental materials science that may offer routes to new sensing surfaces that can switch between different modes of behaviour (e.g. active-passive, expand-contract).

Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:microfluidics, biomimetics, polymer actuators, molecular photoswitches, stimulus-responsive polymers
Subjects:Physical Sciences > Analytical chemistry
Physical Sciences > Chemical detectors
Physical Sciences > Electrochemistry
Physical Sciences > Organic chemistry
Physical Sciences > Chemistry
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science and Health > School of Chemical Sciences
Research Initiatives and Centres > CLARITY: The Centre for Sensor Web Technologies
Research Initiatives and Centres > National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR)
Publisher:Electrochemical Society
Official URL:
Copyright Information:© The Electrochemical Society, Inc. 2009.
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
Funders:Science Foundation Ireland, Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology, EU FP6 (Biotex), Australian Research Foundation, DCU Research Fellowship (KTL)
ID Code:2448
Deposited On:12 Mar 2009 16:08 by Dermot Diamond. Last Modified 01 Feb 2017 14:21

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