Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fast, cheap, and accurate: Detecting CO2 with a fluorescent twist

05.09.2011
Detecting specific gases in the air is possible using a number of different existing technologies, but typically all of these suffer from one or more drawbacks including high energy cost, large size, slow detection speed, and sensitivity to humidity.

Overcoming these deficiencies with a unique approach, a team based at Kyoto University has designed an inexpensive new material capable of quick and accurate detection of a specific gas under a wide variety of circumstances. Moreover, in addition to being reusable, the compound gives off variable degrees of visible light in correspondence with different gas concentrations, providing for development of easy to use monitoring devices.

The findings, published in a recent issue of Nature Materials, describe the use of a flexible crystalline material (porous coordination polymer, or PCP) that transforms according to changes in the environment. When infused with a fluorescent reporter molecule (distyrylbenzene, or DSB), the composite becomes sensitive specifically to carbon dioxide gas, glowing with varying intensity based on changing concentrations of the gas. Lead author for the paper was Dr. Nobuhiro Yanai of the university's Graduate School of Engineering.

"The real test for us was to see whether the composite could differentiate between carbon dioxide and acetylene, which have similar physiochemical properties," explains Assoc. Prof. Takashi Uemura, also of the Graduate School of Engineering. "Our findings clearly show that this PCP-DSB combination reacts very differently to the two gases, making accurate CO2 detection possible in a wide variety of applications."

In its natural state, DSB is a long, flat molecule, which emits a blue light. When adsorbed by the PCP framework, DSB molecules twist, causing the entire PCP structure to also become skewed. In this condition, the glow of DSB diminishes significantly.

"On this occasion we observed that the presence of CO2 causes the DSB molecules to revert to their flat, brightly fluorescent form, while also returning the PCP grid to its usual state," adds Professor and deputy director Susumu Kitagawa of the university's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS). "And importantly, these steps can be reversed without causing any significant changes to the composite, making possible the development of a wide variety of specific, inexpensive, reusable gas detectors."

The article, "Gas detection by structural variations of fluorescent guest molecules in a flexible porous coordination polymer" by Nobuhiro Yanai, Koji Kitayama, Yuh Hijikata, Hiroshi Sato, Ryotaro Matsuda, Yoshiki Kubota, Masaki Takata, Motohiro Mizuno, Takashi Uemura, and Susumu Kitagawa was published online in the September 4, 2011 issue of Nature Materials.

Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Murata Science Foundation, ERATO-JST, a Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (A), and a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Area "Emergence in Chemistry" from MEXT. The synchrotron radiation experiments were carried out at BL02B2 in SPring-8 with the approval of the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI) (Proposal no. 2009B1320).

About the iCeMS:

The Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) at Kyoto University in Japan aims to advance the integration of cell and material sciences -- both traditionally strong fields for the university -- by creating a uniquely innovative global research environment. The iCeMS integrates the biosciences, chemistry, materials science, and physics to capture the potential power of stem cells (e.g., ES/iPS cells) and of mesoscopic sciences (e.g., porous coordination polymers). Such developments hold the promise of significant advances in medicine, pharmaceutical studies, the environment, and industry. Please see http://www.icems.kyoto-u.ac.jp for further details.

David Kornhauser | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.kyoto-u.ac.jp

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht New design improves performance of flexible wearable electronics
23.06.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics
22.06.2017 | American Chemical Society

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>