Schizophrenic molecules and materials with multiple personalities - how materials science could revolutionise how we do chemical sensing
Diamond, Dermot and Byrne, Robert and Scarmagnani, Silvia and Radu, Aleksandar and Benito-Lopez, Fernando (2009) Schizophrenic molecules and materials with multiple personalities - how materials science could revolutionise how we do chemical sensing. In: 2009 MRS Spring Meeting, 14-16 April 2009, San Francisco, USA.
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Molecular photoswitches like spiropyrans derivatives offer exciting possibilities for the development of analytical platforms incorporating photo-responsive materials for functions such as light-activated guest uptake and release and optical reporting on status (passive form, free active form, guest bound to active form). In particular, these switchable materials hold tremendous promise for microflow-systems, in view of the fact that their behaviour can be controlled and interrogated remotely using light from LEDs, without the need for direct physical contact. We demonstrate the immobilisation of these materials on microbeads which can be incorporated into a microflow system to facilitate photoswitchable guest uptake and release. We also introduce novel hybrid materials based on spiropyrans derivatives grafted onto a polymer backbone which, in the presence of an ionic liquid, produces a gel-like material capable of significant photoactuation behaviour. We demonstrate how this material can be incorporated into microfluidic platforms to produce valve-like structures capable of controlling liquid movement using light.
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