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Nanotextured Organic Light Emitting Diode Based Chemical Sensor

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In this paper we present the design, fabrication and development of an optical, label free chemical sensor technology based on the portable "lab-on-a-chip" format. This sensor technology employs the use of nanotextured thin film surfaces packaged in a stacked vertical array format functioning as organic light emitting diodes (OLED's). The intensity of emitted light from OLED's is modulated as a function of the analyte concentration. The OLEDs were fabricated in a layer by layer configuration with an indium tin oxide anode and an aluminum cathode and TPD as a hole transport layer and AlQ3 as an electron transport layer. ITO/TPD/AlQ3/Al sandwich OLEDs were converted into sensors by converting the cathode (Al) surface into an active sensing area. The prototype sensor performance was evaluated in the detection of two aliphatic hydrocarbons-ethanol and methanol. The detection sensitivity was found to be in the lower parts per million (ppm). The limit of detection for ethanol was 1 ppm and that for methanol was 10 ppm. Chemical detection was achieved upon the comparison of turn-on voltages and the intensities of the output light from the OLED when chemical was being injected onto the cathode surface, with that of a standard OLED turn-on voltage and intensity. The modulation in these two parameters with respect to the standard was determined as a measure of detection of the two chemical species.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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