It is well known that sensitivity of quenched-phosphorescence O2 sensors can be tuned by changing the nature of indicator dye and host polymer acting as encapsulation and quenching mediums. Here, we describe a new type of sensor materials based on nanostructured hard elastic polymeric substrates. With the example of hard elastic polypropylene films impregnated with Pt-benzoporphyrin dye, we show that such substrates enable simple one-step fabrication of O2 sensors by standard and scalable polymer processing technologies. In addition, the resulting sensor materials show prominent response to tensile drawing via changes in phosphorescence intensity and lifetime and O2 quenching constant, Kq. The mechanosensitive response shows reversibility and hysteresis, which are related to macroscopic changes in the nanoporous structure of the polymer. Such multifunctional materials can find use as mechanically tunable O2 sensors, as well as strain/deformation sensors operating in a phosphorescence-lifetime-based detection mode.
University College Cork ->