Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)


Dr. Igor Luzinov

Document Type



Materials Science and Engineering

Publication Date

Spring 2013


Thin polymer films have been utilized as enrichment layers for evanescent waveguide chemical sensors and other analytical techniques. This is due to the fact that the chemical nature of polymers is ideal for trapping chemically similar organic molecules making analysis more convenient. Specifically, research in this area of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) detection, focused has been given to identifying a single polymer film of micron scale thickness to target one analyte. This work focuses on the design and use of multiple polymers in one enrichment layer to target VOCs to facilitate detection. Two distinct layered enrichment systems were synthesized via the “grafting to” approach. The end application is to apply these polymers onto mid-infrared transparent evanescent wave micro-disk or micro-ring resonators. Analysis of the polymer affinity to VOCs and to act as enrichment layers is determined by the thickness increase caused by swelling of the film when exposed to the analyte vapor. Detection analysis was done using attenuated total reflection (ATR) FT-IR spectroscopy. The polymer layered systems were characterized by atomic force microscopy, ellipsometry and infrared spectroscopy. Studies of pure analyte vapors and mixtures were conducted in saturated conditions.