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Due to their long photon confinement times, Whispering-gallery mode microresonator-based biochemical sensors are one of the most sensitive sensors in existence. We use frequency locked WGM microtoroid optical resonators covalently modified with various polymer coatings to selectively detect surrogate diisopropyl methylphosphonate, as well as hazardous industrial chemicals formaldehyde and ammonia at parts-per-trillion scales. Notably, we pioneered a fast one-pot process to access 3-propyl-terminated PVAc that uses cobalt-mediated living radical polymerization and a nitroxyl polymer-terminating agent. The hydrolysis of PVAc coatings to produce polyvinyl alcohol coatings directly attached to the microtoroid was both accurate and reproducible, resulting in the development of WGM sensors capable of rapid and specific measurement of formaldehyde vapors. In part, the selectivity of these three polymer coatings as sensing media was predicted, based on their functional group content and known reactivity patterns with the target analytes.
Source link: https://europepmc.org/article/MED/36049126
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