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Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 7;7:46265. doi: 10.1038/srep46265.

Highly pH-responsive sensor based on amplified spontaneous emission coupled to colorimetry.

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Key Laboratory for Organic Electronics and Information Displays &Institute of Advanced Materials, National Jiangsu Synergistic Innovation Center for Advanced Materials (SICAM), Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, 9 Wenyuan Road, Nanjing 210046, China.
Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies, IMDEA Nanociencia, Calle Faraday 9, Ciudad Universitaria de Cantoblanco, 28049, Spain.
Department of Physical, Chemical and Natural System, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville, ES 41013, Spain.
Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM), Jiangsu-Singapore Joint Research Center for Organic/Bio-Electronics &Information Displays, Nanjing Tech University, 30 South Puzhu Road, Nanjing 211816, China.


We demonstrated a simple, directly-readable approach for high resolution pH sensing. The method was based on sharp changes in Amplified Spontaneous Emission (ASE) of a Stilbene 420 (ST) laser dye triggered by the pH-dependent absorption of Bromocresol Green (BG). The ASE threshold of BG:ST solution mixtures exhibited a strong dependence on BG absorption, which was drastically changed by the variations of the pH of BG solution. As a result, ASE on-off or off-on was observed with different pH levels achieved by ammonia doping. By changing the concentration of the BG solution and the BG:ST blend ratio, this approach allowed to detect pH changes with a sensitivity down to 0.05 in the 10-11 pH range.

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