Development of improved gas sensing surfaces – Initiated plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition of heterocyclic macrocycles


CALL: 2013

DOMAIN: MS - New Functional and Intelligent Materials and Surfaces


LAST NAME: Boscher




KEYWORDS: Chemical vapour deposition, Radical polymerization, Thin film, Gas sensor

START: 2014-06-01



Submitted Abstract

The SENSi project aims to develop new gas sensing surfaces from an initiated plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (iPE-CVD) process.A promising up-and-coming technology for the preparation of colorimetric gas sensing surfaces is the atmospheric pressure dielectric barrier discharge (AP-DBD) deposition of metalloporphyrin-based coatings. AP-DBD has been successfully used to immobilize metalloporphyrins in porous plasma-polymerized polydimethylsiloxane (pp-PDMS) layers. The pp-PDMS scaffold, which ensured the mechanical and water stability of the layer, allowed analyte permeation to the sensing molecule. However, the hypsochromic shift related to the interaction of the amine and the dye is not yet able to be monitored by the human eye.A possible route towards improved colorimetric gas sensors is to ensure the radical polymerization of vinyl-functionalized metalloporphyrins thin films from a soft CVD method. The grown metalloporphyrins-based scaffold would thus both play the role of matrix, ensuring the chemical and mechanical stability of the layer, and sensing element. In late 2012, Prof. Gleason’s research group developed a unique PE-CVD route allowing the radical polymerization of a vinyl siloxane monomer. The radical polymerization mechanism was shown to be greatly favoured by the presence of an initiator (iPE-CVD) and the deposited polymer exhibited an excellent retention of the monomer structure.Within the framework of the SENSi project, improved gas sensing surfaces will be synthesized by iPECVD. The free radical polymerization reaction of vinyl-functionalized heterocyclic macrocycles will be promoted in order to retain the chemical and structural integrity of the macrocycles core. Exhaustive surface characterizations will allow a deep understanding of plasma polymerization mechanisms involved in iPE-CVD. The benefits of such knowledge can then be exploited to elaborate other new functional plasma polymer thin films. Metalloporphyrins frameworks are of particular interest for light harvesting and catalysis applications.The SENSi project will benefit from the complementarity and synergetic expertise of the two research groups. Over the past years, the Surface Treatment Unit (UTS) from the CRP-GL has developed specialist knowledge in the PE-CVD and characterization of metalloporphyrin-based coatings, while the Gleason group from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a widespread expertise in the iCVD and iPE-CVD of polymeric functional coatings. In addition, it is important to bear in mind that this secondment might promote future collaborations between the CRP-GL and MIT, paving the way to the submission of high scientific quality projects to the FNR and/or U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).

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