The University of Southampton
Chemistry

Research project: Kitchen: Luminescent surface attached lanthanide complexes: towards new mono-layer sensing devices and smart surfaces

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Luminescent lanthanide (LnIII) complexes have a rich history as molecular sensors, however there are relatively few examples of these immobilised on surfaces. We are looking to advance this new and exciting area by developing sensors through facile surface attachment of responsive LnIII coordination complexes via Langmuir-Blodgett techniques.

Project Overview

Project Overview:


Our research is focusing on the development of new advanced surface immobilised sensors where the system is highly sensitive and gives rise to an easily read output upon external perturbation. Systems of this type can be constructed using carefully designed lanthanide (LnIII) complexes and the Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technique. The current program will focus on the development of luminescent LnIII coordination materials that respond to, and hence give information about, their external environment. The LB technique is ideal for the fabrication of new functional surfaces/sensors as it allows for controlled and ordered deposition of amphiphiles, such that the layer number and layer thickness are known. In addition multi-layers are possible allowing for enhanced sensitivity and the layer-by-layer deposition of different systems leading to more complex functionality.

Luminescent LnIII LB films lend themselves towards new, highly sensitive and selective sensor technologies. In particular, the research approach we are taking, i.e. development of carefully designed coordination compounds (allowing precise tuning of photophysical properties and incorporation of responsive functional groups) and the deposition control and precision of the LB technique makes for an ideal platform from which to prepare a range of different sensors, including temperature, pressure, UV/light, gas, mechanochromic, and, of particular importance, chemical sensors.

Related research groups

Functional Inorganic, Materials and Supramolecular Chemistry

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