Laser chemosensor with rapid responsivity and inherent memory based on a polymer of intrinsic microporosity

Yue Wang, Neil B. McKeown, Kadhum J. Msayib, Graham A. Turnbull, Ifor D. W. Samuel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


This work explores the use of a polymer of intrinsic microporosity (PIM-1) as the active layer within a laser sensor to detect nitroaromatic-based explosive vapors. We show successful detection of dinitrobenzene (DNB) by monitoring the real-time photoluminescence. We also show that PIM-1 has an inherent memory, so that it accumulates the analyte during exposure. In addition, the optical gain and refractive index of the polymer were studied by amplified spontaneous emission and variable-angle ellipsometry, respectively. A second-order distributed feedback PIM-1 laser sensor was fabricated and found to show an increase in laser threshold of 2.5 times and a reduction of the laser slope efficiency by 4.4 times after a 5-min exposure to the DNB vapor. For pumping at 2 times threshold, the lasing action was stopped within 30 s indicating that PIM-1 has a very fast responsivity and as such has a potential sensing ability for ultra-low-concentration explosives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2478-2487
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Early online date28 Feb 2011
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Polymer of intrinsic microporosity
  • Organic semiconductor
  • Distributed feedback laser
  • Explosive detection
  • Chemosensors
  • Conjugated polymers
  • Explosives
  • Membranes
  • Sensors


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