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Unambiguous detection of nitrated explosive vapours by fluorescence quenching of dendrimer films

Yan Geng, Mohammad A. Ali, Andrew J. Clulow, Shengqiang Fan, Paul L. Burn, Ian R. Gentle, Paul Meredith Orcid Logo, Paul E. Shaw

Nature Communications, Volume: 6, Start page: 8240

Swansea University Author: Paul Meredith Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1038/ncomms9240

Abstract

Unambiguous and selective standoff (non-contact) infield detection of nitro-containingexplosives and taggants is an important goal but difficult to achieve with standard analyticaltechniques. Oxidative fluorescence quenching is emerging as a high sensitivity method fordetecting such materials but is...

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Published in: Nature Communications
ISSN: 2041-1723
Published: 2015
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa34094
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Abstract: Unambiguous and selective standoff (non-contact) infield detection of nitro-containingexplosives and taggants is an important goal but difficult to achieve with standard analyticaltechniques. Oxidative fluorescence quenching is emerging as a high sensitivity method fordetecting such materials but is prone to false positives—everyday items such as perfumeselicit similar responses. Here we report thin films of light-emitting dendrimers that detectvapours of explosives and taggants selectively—fluorescence quenching is not observed for arange of common interferents. Using a combination of neutron reflectometry, quartz crystalmicrobalance and photophysical measurements we show that the origin of the selectivity isprimarily electronic and not the diffusion kinetics of the analyte or its distribution in the film.The results are a major advance in the development of sensing materials for the standoffdetection of nitro-based explosive vapours, and deliver significant insights into the physicalprocesses that govern the sensing efficacy.
College: College of Science
Start Page: 8240